Could a computer game help you cut down on sugar?

Cloud a computer game

Cloud a computer game

Recent reports have suggested that people in the United States eat too much sugar, which can make them overweight and expose them to various health conditions. Yet an experimental computer game could help people curtail their sweet cravings, new research suggests.
Some records indicate the people in the U.S. consume, on average, about 57 pounds (almost 26 kilograms) of added sugar per person per year.
This is significantly more than the quantity indicated as safe in official guidelines, such as those issued by the American Heart Association(AHA), which state that adults should have no more than approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, for women, and no more than around 9 teaspoons of sugar per day, for men.
Overconsumption of foods that are high in sugars, and especially added sugars — such as candy, cookies, and cakes — may contribute to obesity-related health problems and, according to some studies, may increase the risk of certain forms of cancer.
Considering the potential ill effects of consuming too much added sugar, a team from Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, in Philadelphia, PA, wanted to find a new approach to getting people to avoid processed foods rich in sugar.
For this purpose, the team — led by Evan Forman, Ph.D. — developed a “brain-training” computer game aimed at teaching individuals to reach less often for sweets and more often for more nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
“Added sugar is one of the biggest culprits of excess calories and is also associated with several health risks, including cancer. For these reasons, eliminating added sugar from a person’s diet results in weight loss and reduced risk of disease,” explains Forman.
A game that promotes healthful eating
Forman notes that “Cognitive, or brain-training, games have been used to help people reduce unhealthy habits like smoking,” and adds, “We were also seeing positive results from labs using computer training programs.”

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