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  • Published on January 13, 2020
The game RangoMania is an app that aims at facilitating the education on healthy nutrition and at stimulating healthier dietary habits amongst adolescents (12 to 18 years old). It also stimulates the use of the nutrition facts label present in packaging of foods and beverages as a source of nutritional information.
The app was created based on suggestions of adolescents from different regions in Brazil. The development process lasted about six months. Initially, a smaller group of adolescents (around 200, from those 4 schools mentioned above) and their teachers were consulted to identify the alimentary routine and eating habits of the adolescents as well as to collect suggestions about what would be the most interesting interactions, scenarios and scripts for a game directed towards healthy nutrition. Based on the conclusions of that first round of conversations, a beta version of the game was produced. When ready, the adolescents from each of the participant schools were invited to test the beta app and share their impressions and learnings. This resulted in a set of adjustments and corrections of the game, which were implemented before its official launch in May 2nd, 2019. The game is based on the interaction with a "digital adolescent", during which the gamer decides on what to eat and which activities to perform, such as walk to school, study math etc. The game can begin at any stage, but, ideally, the gamer should start by selecting which foods and beverages will be purchased in a market (through quests, the gamer is stimulated to check every nutrition facts label of each item of food). Next, the chosen items of foods and beverages will be available for the gamer to combine into a meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner). While combining them, the gamer will receive feedbacks on the total amount of sugar, sodium and fat, as well as the number of calories contained in the chosen meal. After the gamer chooses a meal, the game will inform, through animations and talks, the consequences of the dietary elections made by the gamer, such as, if the gamer had too much fat, he/she may feel nauseated; too much sodium and the gamer may have a headache, and so on. The meal choices will also influence the gamer´s performance on his daily activities, such as, if the gamer had too much fat, he will be slower in his walk to school, among others. The DemoPlay – a video showing all interactions with the gamer – is available at Complementary Lesson Plans were created and disseminated for the use of teachers, in order to support and foster the application of the game as a pedagogical tool in schools. For instance, one of the Lesson Plans facilitates for the teacher the promotion of an activity with students focused on food and beverage labels. The teacher should ask the students to bring to school some food products and will reflect upon them together with the students. With the help of additional information contained in the Lesson Plan, about the information available in these labels, and, based on these data, teacher and students will decide on which alimentary product is healthier.

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