Apps and Game Designers Level Up on Healthy Eating
Six months ago the Apps for Healthy Kids competition called upon Americans to design engaging online or mobile games and tools to educate people of all ages about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. As part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this challenge brought together solvers from across the Nation.
Today we celebrated the top teams and developers from ten states that won the 12 competition awards. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra emceed the awards event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Let’s Move! Executive Director Robin Schepper and Fuel Up to Play 60 partner former NFL player Brian Mitchell.
We provided the USDA nutrition dataset and a few guidelines, you added innovation and creativity. In three months, 95 games and apps were submitted from 8 states and the District of Columbia. A panel of esteemed judges determined the winners based on five main criteria, including: potential to impact the target audience, potential to engage and motivate target audience, creativity, and originality.
Support beyond the Let’s Move! team, gaming and development community was outstanding; nearly 45,000 individuals signed on to support the challenge. When it was time to vote, you cast almost 21,000 votes to select Popular Choice winners Food Buster and Tony’s Plate Calculator.
Learning about healthy eating choices is fun for eaters of all ages with games like Trainer where you take care of a creature share in physical activity, develop nutritious recipes for a virtual pet in Fitter Critters or simply smash a slice of pizza or muffin to see how much sugar, salt and oil each contains in Smash Your Food.
The online tool Snack Neutralizer allows you to select a food and evaluate the consequences with required physical activity to balance the caloric intake. Next time I see a chocolate dish, I may think about the 293 stairs it would take to burn off the sweet afternoon snack.
Using interactive webcam technology, University of Southern California students designed the winning game Trainer that challenges players to strengthen an online creature by training alongside it in the real world. This inventive group of students not only swept the Grand Prize in the overall standings, they also took home the GE healthymangination Student Award!
Collaborating with each other, these teams found unique ways to reach new audiences, and inspire others to fight obesity and practice healthy living. Check out the full list of winners on the Apps for Healthy website and try your hand at some of the games and test the winning tools. They’re easy to play, fun and can teach you to make healthier food choices along the way.
As we conclude the Apps for Healthy Kids competition, we hope others are inspired to keep moving. Keep building tools or games that inspire others to lead healthier, more active lives empowered with information. In the spirit of continuing collaboration and innovation, we recently launched the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, challenging you to team up for healthy – and kid-tested – tasty meals in our schools. Let’s keep the innovation and creativity flowing – keep designing, be creative, and cook up the next winning idea!