For nutrition info, moms like the Web best

Jan 10, 2008

A Web site is a better source of information on nutrition than a video game or printed pamphlet, according to a study of low-income mothers reported in the January issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Led by Kami J. Silk, Ph.D., of Michigan State University, East Lansing, the researchers presented 155 low-income mothers with nutrition information in different formats. One group played a video game in which a series of entertaining activities were used to communicate nutrition facts. Other groups received the same information in a Web site format or a printed pamphlet.

Responses suggested that the mothers liked the Web site format best. They paid more attention to information presented on the Web site and understood it better. They were also more likely to say they would go back to the Web site for nutrition information, compared to the video game or pamphlet. "Nutrition literacy" scores were higher for women who viewed the Web site. On follow-up testing two weeks later, mothers assigned to the Web site were no more likely to retain the information than those who saw the other two formats.

Efforts to increase nutrition literacy among low-income families have focused on brochures and other printed materials. Video games seem to be a promising "edu-tainment" approach to communicating health information—the game holds the person's attention while communicating the health message.

However, the new results suggest that, when it comes to getting nutrition information, mothers prefer a Web site over a video game. The researchers were not surprised by the result: "[R]esearch suggests that Web sites are most often used for information, whereas games represent intellectual challenges."

While technology is not a "panacea" for health education efforts, "it can perhaps be argued that Web sites are a smart strategy in certain contexts and groups," Dr. Silk and colleagues write. Video games might be more successful in a younger audience, although this should also be confirmed by research. The researchers conclude, "Future interventions that integrate media need to consider how people use media in addition to what media they use."

Source: Elsevier

Explore further: With kids in school, parents can work out

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Body by smartphone

Jul 30, 2014

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

Review: Amazon phone unlikely to catch Fire

Jun 21, 2014

In announcing Fire, its first-ever smartphone, Amazon showed off some sparks of innovation. There are two standout features in particular: a service called Firefly that can identify everything from a song ...

The promise and peril of nanotechnology

Mar 26, 2014

Scientists at Northwestern University have found a way to detect metastatic breast cancer by arranging strands of DNA into spherical shapes and using them to cover a tiny particle of gold, creating a "nano-flare" ...

Recommended for you

With kids in school, parents can work out

22 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Back-to-school time provides an opportunity for parents to develop an exercise plan that fits into the family schedules, an expert suggests.

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

Aug 22, 2014

The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees. The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance ...

Use a rule of thumb to control how much you drink

Aug 22, 2014

Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That's the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University ...

User comments : 0