Celebrating with sugar treats has been the norm since ages and there is nothing wrong about it. Functions and celebrations do not happen all round the year and making kheers or sweets did not disturb the optimal health of individuals back then. But the advent of processed foods and sweetened beverages has put us in turmoil-they have been the culprits behind increasing obesity/overweight rates and attack of a diabetes epidemic among the general public all of which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cause more health problems. Individuals have become fans of the calorie-laden doughnuts, sugar-sweetened beverages and cupcakes which occupy central place during birthday celebrations and parties. This leaves people with spiked-up glucose levels that have devastating impact on the health that various countries are thinking about levying a sugar tax apart from the exuberant number of taxes already in place while it has been implemented and in practise in few countries around the world. But this has attracted a lot many supporters and haters despite the government seeing it as a way to tackle the rising obesity crisis (the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages reduces consumption rate).
Restricting sugar intake is indeed the wise choice to escape from weight gain problems and reduce risk of health consequences. Self-control is the best way to do this but many cannot withhold their temptation as it is imprinted in their neural connection, especially in obese/overweight people as elaborated in www.firsteatright.com. But how about playing a fun game that can help you do the same? Games have in fact been added as an addiction and I don’t think many would have problems doing this. That’s the study published in the ‘Journal of Behavioural Medicine’ where the researchers developed and evaluated a ‘brain training’ game that targeted the part of the brain that inhibits impulses hoping to see beneficial changes in diet.
Virtual reality games are becoming more and more prominent being used for treating dementia and other health problems as well. Cognitive or ‘brain training’ games have been in practise for motivating people to quit unhealthy habits such as smoking but this is the first study to look into the effect of gamified inhibitory control training on weight loss. The game was designed basically depending on the number of sweets consumed by each participant and changing difficulty levels based on how well each of them resisted the temptation of sweets. Overall 109 individuals participated in the study all of whom were overweight and ate sweets. All of them attended a workshop which mainly focused on how sugar is detrimental to health, provided a list of the sugar-laden foods that should be avoided and also helped them with ways for doing so. Still, the research team strongly felt that each of them needed an extra tool to help them refrain from sugar consumption. The tool used here was the gaming platform, the training of which could help the person pursue the no-added sugar diet.
Each participant played the game daily on the computer for a few minutes every day for six weeks and then again once a week for two weeks. The game was to help shoppers put the correct items (healthy foods) on the grocery cart while avoiding choosing incorrect foods (preferably sweets). Points were given every time a shopper placed the correct item in the cart. In those who loved sweets it was seen that over 50% of them lost around 3.1% of their body weight over eight weeks. They were happy with the training and also wished to continue it even after the study. Some received a highly gamified version of the study and in those who did so, there was a better reception to it among men than women
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.