How Games Can Make Your Child Eat More

Young gamer girl eating pizza while playing


Does your child regularly play games in which food passes by? Not a good idea! Research has shown that children will snack more because of this. Even if the online game is about fruit.


Children who play online games like Roblox in which sometimes advertising for food is hidden eat 55 percent more candy in the time afterward than children who have played a game in which toy advertising passed by. This is evident from research by behavioral scientist Frans Folkvord of Radboud University.


Here are some ways food in online games affects your child’s eating behavior.


As many as two-thirds of primary school children play an online game at least once a week that has been developed to advertise a brand. Usually for snacks or sweets. Only 6% of children realize that the game is meant for this purpose. Even if brand names or logos are clearly displayed, most children do not recognize the games as advertising.



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Folkvord tested the effect of hidden food advertising in online games on the eating behavior of more than a thousand children. “Unlike on television, where you have clearly defined commercial breaks so that you can arm yourself against temptation, advertising on the internet is mixed with other things. On websites of food manufacturers, there are games where children are also given the option to send games to friends.”


Folkvord advocates that games that advertise food should be banned for children. ‘Children play a game, get hungry, grab some goodies. This goes on constantly and so children do not learn healthy eating behavior. And my research also shows that children who are already too fat are extra influenced by these advertisements.’



Whether a game is about candy or fruit doesn’t matter; there was more pruning by the children after playing. The children who participated in the study and played a game with fruit ate 72 more kilocalories in the 5-minute break after gaming than the children in the control group.