Video games to combat poor nutrition in over 55s


A new European research project is to produce co-designed videogames to combat poor nutrition in people over 55 years-old.

Abertay University in Dundee is the UK partner on the Food Gaming For Active Ageing project, which aims to promote good nutrition habits through the creation of innovative videogames solutions.

Volunteers over the age of 55 are being sought to help design a game which will be built to explain nutrition in playable and engaging ways, while also boosting the motivation to learn more about eating well.

As part of the wider European project, a Nutrition Games Platform will be created to host new resources, which will all be specifically tailored to older people’s needs in terms of usability and acceptability.

Dr Sarah Cottin (pictured above), a lecturer in Food, Nutrition and Health at Abertay, said the gamification dimension would also promote information and communications technology use among older people.

She added: “Applied games are a highly-effective educational tool and by bringing people from our target age group into the design process we can ensure the end product is hitting the right mark.

“In the UK and in Europe, we live longer but not fitter. Nutrition and physical activity play a pivotal role in preventing age-related conditions and improving our well-being in later years.

“Encouraging people over 55 to think and learn about their eating habits and lifestyle in a different way is an ideal way to open up the conversation around nutrition, and we hope this project can have a real impact on public health in this age group.”

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme, project partners include the E-Seniors Association in France, the AIJU Instituto Tecnológico in Spain and the e-learning specialists VITECO in Italy.

The development of the project will be divided into 4 main outputs, with specific activities and tasks:

  • A report on best practices and the needs of the target groups in France, Italy, Spain and the UK
  • A report with the results of the co-creation sessions in France, Spain and the UK
  • A comprehensive educational program on the project website, based on the needs of senior users and produced with the assistance of registered nutritionists and researchers
  • A platform offering interactive and educational games about nutrition: The Nutrition Games Platform

Anyone aged over 55 who is living in the UK can take part in the Abertay University project by clicking here.

Chris Price
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