Can Badges in Gamified Systems Promote Weight-Related Behavior Change?
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The current global prevalence of obesity among children and young adults is much higher than in previous decades. Despite efforts to prevent childhood obesity, motivation is a barrier to weight-related behavior change. Pediatric experts have attributed the epidemic to sedentary lifestyles partially driven by the excessive use of media and technology. Recently, researchers have attempted to use gamification to promote healthy diets and physical activity. Gamification is a novel term that refers to the application of game design elements in non-game contexts. Badges are a type of reward system that is used in many health promotion applications. There have been several studies that suggest that badges are effective in promoting behavior change. However, there has not been a review that specifically addresses the relationship between badges and motivation. The purpose of this narrative review is to assess whether badges in gamified settings are effective at promoting changes in diet and physical activity habits among people under 30 years old.