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A serious game to increase healthy food consumption in overweight or obese adults: Randomized controlled trial

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: Obesity is a growing global issue that is linked to cognitive and psychological deficits. Objective: This preliminary study investigated the efficacy of training to improve inhibitory control (IC), a process linked to overeating, on consumption and cognitive control factors. Methods: This study utilized a multisession mobile phone-based intervention to train IC in an overweight and obese population using a randomized waitlist-control design. A combination of self-assessment questionnaires and psychophysiological measures was used to assess the efficacy of the intervention in terms of improved general IC and modified food consumption after training. Attitudes toward food were also assessed to determine their mediating role in food choices. A total of 58 participants (47 female) completed 2 assessment sessions 3 weeks apart, with 2 weeks of intervention training for the training group during this time. The groups did not differ in baseline demographics including age, body mass index, and inhibitory control. Results: Inhibitory control ability improved across the training sessions, with increases in P3 amplitude implying increased cognitive control over responses. Inhibitory control training was associated with increased healthy and reduced unhealthy food consumption in a taste test and in the week following training, as measured by the Healthy Eating Quiz and the food consumption test. Cognitive restraint was enhanced after training for the training but not the waitlist condition in the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, implying that attempts to avoid unhealthy foods in the future will be easier for the training group participants. Conclusions: Inhibitory control training delivered via a purpose-designed mobile phone app is easy to complete, is convenient, and can increase cognitive restraint and reduce unhealthy food consumption.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Blackburne, T., Rodriguez, A., & Johnstone, S. J. (2016). A serious game to increase healthy food consumption in overweight or obese adults: Randomized controlled trial. JMIR Serious Games, 4(2). doi:10.2196/games.5708

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85029258409

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 2

Abstract


  • Background: Obesity is a growing global issue that is linked to cognitive and psychological deficits. Objective: This preliminary study investigated the efficacy of training to improve inhibitory control (IC), a process linked to overeating, on consumption and cognitive control factors. Methods: This study utilized a multisession mobile phone-based intervention to train IC in an overweight and obese population using a randomized waitlist-control design. A combination of self-assessment questionnaires and psychophysiological measures was used to assess the efficacy of the intervention in terms of improved general IC and modified food consumption after training. Attitudes toward food were also assessed to determine their mediating role in food choices. A total of 58 participants (47 female) completed 2 assessment sessions 3 weeks apart, with 2 weeks of intervention training for the training group during this time. The groups did not differ in baseline demographics including age, body mass index, and inhibitory control. Results: Inhibitory control ability improved across the training sessions, with increases in P3 amplitude implying increased cognitive control over responses. Inhibitory control training was associated with increased healthy and reduced unhealthy food consumption in a taste test and in the week following training, as measured by the Healthy Eating Quiz and the food consumption test. Cognitive restraint was enhanced after training for the training but not the waitlist condition in the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, implying that attempts to avoid unhealthy foods in the future will be easier for the training group participants. Conclusions: Inhibitory control training delivered via a purpose-designed mobile phone app is easy to complete, is convenient, and can increase cognitive restraint and reduce unhealthy food consumption.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Blackburne, T., Rodriguez, A., & Johnstone, S. J. (2016). A serious game to increase healthy food consumption in overweight or obese adults: Randomized controlled trial. JMIR Serious Games, 4(2). doi:10.2196/games.5708

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85029258409

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 2