The impact of Serious games on Nutritional Literacy & Dietary Intake: Trends, Tensions, and Opportunities

Ms Oteng Ntsweng (PhD Student)

Contact Person
Dr TAN Swee Lin, Sharon, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing

  15 Sep 2017 Friday, 02:30 PM to 04:00 PM

 Executive Classroom, COM2-04-02

SUPERVISOR: Dr. Sharon Tan Swee Lin

EXAMINERS: Professor Teo Hock Hai and Associate Professor Jack Jiang


Background: Serious games offer the promise of innovative channels for effective behavior change. However, there is a lack of knowledge on how serious games can be effectively used to elicit nutritional literacy and healthy dietary habits. Understanding serious games and the mechanisms through which the games have an effect is important for the advancement of theory. Also, a robust understanding of serious games has practical implications for design, acceptance, and use of serious games.

Objective: Our objective was to systematically review existing research on the impact of serious games on nutritional literacy and/or dietary intake.

Methods: The papers in the review were collated in March 2017. We systematically searched PubMed, key medical informatics journals and information systems journals to identify relevant articles from January 1 2000 to March 27 2017. We included empirical articles 1) in English 2) that focused on the use of digital serious games and 3) for nutritional literacy and/or dietary intake.

Results: We identified 14 articles that met the inclusion criteria. All the 14 articles met the quality requirement for the review. The articles revealed that participants are receptive to and enjoy serious games. Our review also showed mixed results for the relationship between exposure to serious games, nutritional literacy and/or healthy dietary intake.

Conclusions: Results of this review contribute to the understanding of the effects of serious games on nutritional literacy and dietary intake. Our main findings show that serious games can be used to change negative healthy dietary habits if used effectively. Research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms through which serious games have an effect on nutritional literacy and dietary intake.