Gamification for the Improvement of Diet, Nutritional Habits, and Body Composition in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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AuthorSuleiman Martos, Nora; García Lara, Rubén A.; Martos Cabrera, María Begoña; Albendín García, Luis; Romero Béjar, José Luis; Cañadas De La Fuente, Guillermo Arturo; Gómez Urquiza, Jose Luis
AdolescentsChildrenDietary behaviourGameGamificationHealthy eatingNutrition
Suleiman-Martos, N... [et al.]. Gamification for the Improvement of Diet, Nutritional Habits, and Body Composition in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2478. [https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072478]
Currently, one of the main public health problems among children and adolescents is poor adherence to healthy habits, leading to increasingly high rates of obesity and the comorbidities that accompany obesity. Early interventions are necessary, and among them, the use of gamification can be an effective method. The objective was to analyse the effect of game-based interventions (gamification) for improving nutritional habits, knowledge, and changes in body composition. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed in CINAHL, EMBASE, LILACS, MEDLINE, SciELO, and Scopus databases, following the PRISMA recommendations. There was no restriction by year of publication or language. Only randomized controlled trials were included. Twenty-three articles were found. After the intervention, the consumption of fruit and vegetables increased, as well as the knowledge on healthy food groups. The means difference showed a higher nutritional knowledge score in the intervention group 95% CI 0.88 (0.05–1.75). No significant effect of gamification was found for body mass index z-score. Gamification could be an effective method to improve nutritional knowledge about healthier nutritional habits. Promoting the development of effective educational tools to support learning related to nutrition is necessary in order to avoid and prevent chronic diseases.