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A computer game could help you eat less sugar and thus improve your health
The consumption of sugar has become a public health problem because it is one of those responsible for obesity and the appearance of diseases such as cancer. Studies show that reducing the intake of this substance helps reduce weight and improve health. This is why psychology professor Evan Forman of Drexel University led a study that shows that a computer game could train the brain to reduce sugar consumption.
The research, which was published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, reveals the results of the development and evaluation of a game that trains a specific part of the brain that inhibits certain impulses. According to EurekAlert, this would improve health by decreasing the intake of sweet food.
Leer en español: ¿Sabías que puedes entrenar a tu cerebro para comer menos azúcar?
What is the game about?
The idea of cognitive training arises from this type of techniques have already worked in reducing unhealthy habits such as smoking, Foreman explains. The name of the game is "Diet Dash" (Dietary Script) and was developed by Professor Foreman with Michael Wagner, director of the Digital Media department and a group of students from the same department.
The game is about the participant moving through a store as quickly as possible to put only healthy food in the market cart. The points are awarded according to the healthy foods that have been taken and subtracted according to the sweet foods that have been poorly selected.
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The results of playing "Diet Dash" were incredible. More than half of the participants, with preferences to eat sweet foods, showed a weight loss of 3% during the eight weeks of the experiment. The players stated that they would like to continue participating in the training to conserve what they learned and incorporate it permanently into their routines.
The research shows that a segment of men responded better to the game when they used the gamified version. This led the team to test the fully gamified version to attract more users.
Why is sugar so bad?
According to the WHO, the consumption of sugar, for example in sugary drinks, increases the possibility of obesity, cavities and type 2 diabetes. Sugar can also cause the appearance of high blood pressure, asthma, sleep disorders, and liver disease.
In addition to producing this type of diseases, psychological ailments such as depression, social isolation, and low self-esteem can develop. The caloric content provided by foods with added sugar, such as soft drinks, are empty calories with little nutritional value.
It is for this reason that " in adults as in children, WHO recommends reducing the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake".
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from "¿Sabías que puedes entrenar a tu cerebro para comer menos azúcar?"