Obesity Awareness Through Virtual Simulations


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A presentation as a follow-up to my Doctor of Public Health Dissertation Thesis. The presentation took place at the 19th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning.

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Obesity Awareness Through Virtual Simulations

  2. 2. OVERVIEW Introduction  Literature Review  Conclusion  Future Work 
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION  The goal of this presentation is to demonstrate how virtual simulations:      Educate the public Raise awareness to the general public Promote health (diet and exercise) Determine causes of obesity Determine how one may change their lifestyle through the use of motivational interviewing 3
  4. 4. LITERATURE REVIEW: Obesity  Lifestyle changes are an important key factor in improving an individual’s health.       Balancing Calories Healthy Eating Food Pyramid and Food Labels Food Serving Causes and Consequences Obesity is a label for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height (BMI). An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.  An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.  4
  5. 5. LITERATURE REVIEW:OBESITY  According to the American Heart Association among Americans age 20 and older, 49% are overweight or obese (BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 and higher):   25% men. 24% women.  Of these, 25% are obese (BMI of 30.0 kg/m2 and higher): 12% men.  13% women  5
  6. 6. LITERATURE REVIEW:OBESITY  According to Statistics Canada 39% are overweight or obese (BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 and higher):   22% men 16% women  Of these,18.4% are obese (BMI of 30.0 kg/m2 and higher):   19% men 18% women 6
  7. 7. LITERATURE REVIEW:OBESITY  Causes of Obesity: Unhealthy eating  Lack of physical activity  Genetics  Other medications side-effect   Health consequences include:      Heart Disease Cancer Hypertension Type 2 Diabetes Sleep Apnea 7
  8. 8. LITERATURE REVIEW: Motivational Interviewing  A directive, patient-centered counseling style and psychotherapy that assists patients to discover and resolve their ambivalence to behavior change (Treasure, 2004; Miller & Rollnick, pp.33-42).  The transtheoretical model, stages of change model, is believed to be the foundation of motivational interviewing. 8
  9. 9. LITERATURE REVIEW (Cont’d): Motivational Interviewing  Principles Express Empathy  Developing Discrepancy (current vs. desired behavior)  Rolling with Resistance (acknowledging the patient’s perspective )  Supporting Self-efficacy   Skills Open-ended Questions  Reflective Listening  Affirmation  Summarization  9
  10. 10. LITERATURE REVIEW: Simulations  The terms “Simulations” and “Role Play” are used interchangeably by health educators  Simulation is defined as   “A technique in which the exercise moderator creates a situation and assigns roles where individuals tend to play themselves, allowing them to experience their own reactions in a specified setting.” Role Play is defined as:  “An unstructured situation in which an individual’s behavior is not predetermined to fit the roles they are assigned, in comparison to simulations that are believed to be more structured with specific rules.”
  11. 11. LITERATURE REVIEW (Cont’d): SIMULATIONS  Currently technology assists in developing game based simulations in the form of:  Webpage based games   Typically for K-12 students. Virtual World Simulations Second Life  Open Simulator  Cloud Party  Kitley  Unity 3D 
  12. 12. LITERATURE REVIEW: OpenSimulator Virtual World  OpenSimulator is an open source internet-based graphical interface, sometimes referred to as a metaverse or multi-user virtual environment (MUVE).  Individuals represented by avatars (3D human figure).  Allows individuals to experience situations not always available in real life.  The virtual environment allows students to interact with other individuals and objects through experimental and active learning. 12
  13. 13. TYPES OF INTERACTIVE SIMULATIONS  Interactive simulations may take place is various categories which include: Interactive menu – useful in learning about food nutrition choices.  Interactive books – provide instructions to activities as well as other useful resources using notecards and textures.  Interactive games - useful in learning theories and how the various components of theories are linked together.  Interactive text chat – This assists in learning to communicate and gather data such as surveys and general feedback  13
  14. 14. EXAMPLE: FOOD NUTIRION ACTIVITY Learn about the nutritional information of some basic restaurant foods through a menu selection. - Selection by item and size. - Activity allows to collect nutritional information of various typical “fast foods” in a form of a notecard. - Multiple selections allow an individual to make healthy food choices 14
  15. 15. EXAMPLE: ACTIVITY AT THE PARK Learn about to make outdoor activities at the park accessible to everyone. - Tour of the park presents methods of building an accessible park to all individuals. - Additional Information provided in a form of a textbook and notecard for future reference. 15
  16. 16. EXAMPLE: LEARNING THEORY THROUGH GAMES Learning various theories sometimes requires a visual representation in order to understand the broader perspective. Example: • Understanding the transition from Contemplation to Action in behavior change. • Through notecards and objects the participant is able to take notes for future reference. 16
  17. 17. CONCLUSION  Through simulations individuals may:    Become more aware of the health obesity problem. Learn on how to deal with unhealthy eating habits and increase physical activity. Simulations become an individuals visual library to health information. 17
  18. 18. ADDITONAL CREDITS  Technical Support:   Virtual World aka: WhiteStar Magic Content Support: Virtual World aka: WhiteStar Magic  Virtual World aka: Thoria Millgrove  18
  19. 19. THANK YOU! CONTACT INFORMATION: Email: MARGARET.CZART@AmericanSentinel.edu Phone: 303-557-0596 19