Gamified Nutrition Education with Mastery Learning and Spaced Repetition Theory–Can Improve Nutrition Knowledge

Vivien W. Fam, Roberta R. Holt, Carl L. Keen, Rachel E. Scherr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children often consume up to 30% of calories from snacks that are usually low in nutrient value. Over time, poor dietary choices can contribute to an increased risk of obesity and related health problems. Purpose: Describe the development and utilization of the Self-paced Nutrition Activity on Choices for Knowledge (S.N.A.C.K.) nutrition education game to elicit and reinforce healthier snack choices by children aged 9 to 13 years. Methods: Children engaged in S.N.A.C.K. on a provided tablet for 15 to 25 minutes, at week 0 and 4. The game was self-paced, providing education about the Nutrition Facts Label, and consisted of three assessments to evaluate knowledge and application. Results: Data from 41 children, 59% normal weight, and 41% overweight/obese, were included in the analysis. Significant improvements in knowledge and utilization of the Nutrition Facts Label were observed immediately after education, with further advancement after a second session four weeks later. Discussion: In this study, children immediately improved, and sustained, their newly acquired nutrition knowledge with a single 15 to 25 minute session with S.N.A.C.K. Translation to Health Education Practice: Educators could incorporate this consistent and accurate education into their curriculum to reinforce a child’s nutrition knowledge over time. A AJHE Self-Study quiz is online for this article via the SHAPE America Online Institute (SAOI)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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