Using repeated visual exposure, rewards and modelling in a mobile application to increase vegetable acceptance in children


Children are not consuming the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables. Repeated visual exposure, modelling, and rewards have been shown to be effective at increasing vegetable acceptance in young children. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an evidence-based mobile application (Vegetable Maths Masters) which builds on these principles to increase children's liking and acceptance of vegetables. Seventy-four children (37 male, 37 female) aged 3–6 years old were randomised to play with either the vegetable app or a similar control app that did not include any foods. Children played their allocated game for 10 min. Liking and acceptance of the vegetables used in Vegetable Maths Masters (carrot and sweetcorn) and other vegetables which were not used in the game (yellow pepper and tomato) were measured pre- and post-play in both groups. Parents provided data about their child's food fussiness and previous exposure to the foods being used. Children who played with the Vegetable Maths Masters app consumed significantly more vegetables after playing with the app and reported significant increases in their liking of vegetables, relative to the control group. The effect of the Vegetable Maths Masters app on the change in consumption of vegetables was mediated by the change in liking of vegetables. These findings suggest that evidence-based mobile apps can provide an effective tool for increasing children's liking and consumption of vegetables in the short-term. Further work is now required to establish whether these effects are maintained over time.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Life & Health Sciences > Applied Health Research Group
Life & Health Sciences
Engineering & Applied Sciences > Computer Science
Engineering & Applied Sciences > Aston STEM Education Centre
Engineering & Applied Sciences > Systems analytics research institute (SARI)
Engineering & Applied Sciences
Additional Information: © 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Funding: British Psychological Society.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Children,Mobile application,Modelling,Repeated exposure,Rewards,Vegetable intake,Psychology(all),Nutrition and Dietetics
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 2880?via%3Dihub (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-10-01
Published Online Date: 2019-06-19
Accepted Date: 2019-06-19
Authors: Farrow, Claire ( 0000-0003-3745-6610)
Belcher, Esme
Coulthard, Helen
Thomas, Jason Michael ( 0000-0001-7013-8994)
Lumsden, Joanna M ( 0000-0002-8637-7647)
Hakobyan, Lilit ( 0000-0001-9518-4997)
Haycraft, Emma

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