Children`s Nutrition and Exercise, Healthy Lifestyles Video Game

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2009-01146
Amount: $349,321.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3169 S 138TH ST, Walton, NE, 68461
Duns: 802785519
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Bryan Rickertsen
 (402) 432-1450
Business Contact
 Bryan Rickertsen
Title: President
Phone: (402) 432-1450
Research Institution
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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