Obesity remains one of the greatest health problems of the 21st century, affecting millions of adults and children worldwide. The WHO reports that worldwide obesity has doubled since the 1980s, and that in 2008, 200 million men and 300 million women were obese. Sadly, even though obesity is completely preventable, the disease is still on the rise, especially in developed countries. With the availability of fast food choices and instant meals, it gets increasingly difficult to educate children about how to eat healthy, and how to be sure that they’re getting enough of each kind of food.
Luckily, the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has come up with a great way to teach children about the different food groups, all through a great game of Eatwell Bingo. While many people dislike bingo for its simplicity and see it only as a game ideal for old-timers who need to practice their hand-eye coordination, it’s this very simplicity that has allowed bingo to grow and transform over the years.
Many different variants of bingo have popped up. The game has been adapted to different themes, and while old-fashioned bingo halls are still in use, bingo is not just about matching numbers on a card anymore. Instead, bingo operators have come up with strange twists to the traditional game. Bingo has now become an intensely social game, with features that can only be accessed through sharing the experience with friends. Gaming Realms, the company that launched BingoGodz in 2013, says that “The game’s social features aim to create higher user times, better conversion and increased lifetime player value.” The BBC has also commented on this phenomenon, noting that unlike in traditional bingo halls, modern bingo games now incorporate some element of chatting and community, which adds to the appeal of the games.
It’s this element of chatting that really helps get the point of Eatwell Bingo across. Eatwell Bingo cards all have pictures of different types of food that need to be crossed out as the foods are called out by the bingo caller. Once a food has been crossed out, the whole group can then discuss the type of food, its nutritional benefits, and how much of it should make up your daily food allowance. Eatwell Bingo gives you the backbone of a great discussion on eating healthy with friends and family, and allows you to share ideas, and maybe even recipes and ideas of how to prepare dishes that incorporate the different types of food found on the cards. And the best part is that these resources are completely free — all you need to do is print them out, and organize your own bingo party.
Parents really need all the help they can get with teaching their kids to start eating right, and although a game of bingo isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, it might be just what we need.