Using virtual reality to stimulate healthy and environmentally friendly food consumption among children: An interview study

Eline Suzanne Smit*, Marijn Hendrika Catharina Meijers, Laura Nynke van der Laan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Since habits formed during childhood are predictive of adult behaviour, children form an important target group when it comes to improving healthy and environmentally friendly food consumption. To explore the potential of immersive virtual reality (VR) in this respect, we conducted a semi-structured interview study (N = 22) among children aged 6-13 years. This study consisted of two parts: (1) a VR experience and (2) a semi-structured interview to investigate (1) to what extent children are able to recall and understand information about the impact of food products on their health and the environment when provided to them as pop-ups in a VR supermarket; (2) what rational and emotional processes are triggered by this information; and (3) what children’s expectations about the real-life application and impact of the pop-ups are, and why. Interview data were analysed using the framework method. Results showed that although all participants were able to recall the information, only children from an average age of ten years old also understood the information. When participants understood the information, they were often aware of and felt sorry for their negative behavioural impact. Most participants expected their behaviour to positively change when imagining real-life application of the pop-ups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1088
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Children
  • Environment
  • Food consumption
  • Health
  • Interviews
  • Qualitative
  • Sustainability
  • Virtual reality

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