Original Article

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1211-1221

First online:

LunchTime: a slow-casual game for long-term dietary behavior change

  • Rita OrjiAffiliated withComputer Science Department, University of Saskatchewan Email author 
  • , Julita VassilevaAffiliated withComputer Science Department, University of Saskatchewan
  • , Regan L. MandrykAffiliated withComputer Science Department, University of Saskatchewan

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Eating out has recently become part of our lifestyle. However, when eating out in restaurants, many people find it difficult to make meal choices consistent with their health goals. Bad eating choices and habits are in part responsible for the alarming increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, which burden the health care system. Therefore, there is a need for an intervention that educates the public on how to make healthy choices while eating away from home. In this paper, we propose a goal-based slow-casual game approach that addresses this need. This approach acknowledges different groups of users with varying health goals and adopts slow technology to promote learning and reflection. We model two recognized determinants of well-being into dietary interventions and provide feedback accordingly. To demonstrate the suitability of our approach for long-term sustained learning, reflection, and attitude and/or behavior change, we develop and evaluate LunchTime—a goal-based slow-casual game that educates players on how to make healthier meal choices. The result from the evaluation shows that LunchTime facilitates learning and reflection and promotes positive dietary attitude change.


Persuasive game Behavior change Slow technology Casual games Design Food Health Human factors Nutrition Diet Goal-based Theory Attitude change