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The effect of a memory-game with images of vegetables on children's vegetable intake: An experimental study

Folkvord, Frans, Laguna-Camacho, Antonio
Appetite 2019 v.134 pp. 120-124
body mass index, children, chronic diseases, food consumption, fruits, gender, hunger, memory, nutrition risk assessment, snack foods, vegetable consumption, vegetables
Currently, children consume too much energy-dense snack food and not enough fruits and vegetables, thereby increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases. The aim of the present experiment was to examine if priming children with images of diverse vegetables by means of a memory game increased subsequent vegetable intake.We conducted a randomized between-subject design with 100 children (age: 7–12 y) who played a memory-game, containing images of either vegetables (n = 47) or non-food items (n = 53). Free intake of vegetables served during the experiment session was measured. The children reported their gender, age and hunger upon arrival, and their height and weight were measured at the end of the experiment.Playing the memory-game containing vegetables did not stimulate vegetable intake. Children in the vegetable memory-game condition ate similar amounts of vegetables than children in the control condition. No moderation effects of BMI, baseline hunger, gender and game attitude were found.Unlike previous experiments in children observing increase in unhealthy food consumption subsequent to its promotion, we found no effect on immediate vegetable intake of priming children with images of vegetables. Additional research is needed to address the difficulty to enhance vegetable intake in children.