Children`s Nutrition and Exercise, Healthy Lifestyles Video Game

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$349,321.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
83628
Agency Tracking Number:
2009-01146
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
3169 S 138TH ST, Walton, NE, 68461
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
802785519
Principal Investigator:
BryanRickertsen
President
(402) 432-1450
brickertsen@commgraphics.com
Business Contact:
BryanRickertsen
President
(402) 432-1450
brickertsen@commgraphics.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
Childhood obesity and overweight continue to be one of the greatest public health threats in the United States (DHHS, 2001; Visscher & Seidel, 2001; Rugg, 2004). Childhood weight and behavior are significant predictors of adult overweight and obesity (Whitaker, 1997; Dietz & Gortmaker, 2001; ACS, 2004). While programs that attempt to address weight issues continue to be developed, the problem continues to grow (CDC, 2006). Changing the behaviors that lead to overweight and obesity is known to be a complex and difficult undertaking. We believe that the game we are proposing can contribute a piece to the puzzle. We are proposing a video game because it will appeal to children. Whether they have any interest or previous awareness of issues related to their weight, they will be attracted to play the game purely because it provides an engaging and entertaining video game experience (NPD, 2005). We are targeting awareness and self-efficacy because they are precursors to behavior change. Awareness is involved in the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) concepts of behavioral capability and expectations (Bandura, 1998). In the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), awareness relates to consciousness raising, a key process of change (Prochaska, 1992). Self-efficacy is a central construct in SCT and TTM and has been shown to be a strong predictor of physical activity and food-related behavior (Bernier & Avard, 1986; Kelder, Perry, & Klepp, 1993; Marcus, Eaton, Rossi, & Harlow, 1994; Sallis, Prochaska, & Taylor, 2000). By increasing awareness and self-efficacy, our game will provide an easy and inexpensive approach to prepare children for programs that are already in place or being developed for community organizations, such as 4-H, YMCA, YWCA, scouts, church youth programs, ethnic support centers, and government health promotion programs. The game will align with National Health Education Standards and will complement upper elementary school health curriculum, as well as good parenting practices. Children will eagerly play the game because it is entertaining. It will be easy to use and requires no special training or preparation for program leaders, teachers, or parents. The game will be developed to run on computer systems readily available for use in community programs, schools, and in homes.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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