Blind leading the blind but can edutainment technologies save us?


Is it too late to transform the role of augmented reality in changing it’s ways for our future generations? (eNCA 2014)

Post two by Marie Good

The analysis’ below are of two scholarly articles that take a further scientific and researched based leap into the world of healthy living. I have decided to focus on two areas; healthy living blogs and how healthy they really are for their audiences and the role augmented reality could have in changing our education system to incorporate physical activity as a compulsory standard aspect of education curriculums.

‘A content analysis of Healthy living blogs: evidence on content thematically consistent with dysfunctional eating attitudes and behaviours’, is a journal article published by the International Journal of Eating Disorders in 2014 and written by Leah Boepple and Joel Kevin Thompson (Boeple & Thompson 2014). Boeple at the Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, holds a B.A and Thompson a PhD of the department also. This article is a content analysis and evaluation of various healthy living blogs. A sample of 21 blogs that had either won an award or had a large number of followers, was evaluated. It was discovered that more than half had shown signs of advertising or publishing content pro problematic eating or body image views. Boeple has written about issues such as this before, particularly focusing on body image, eating disorders and educational programs to combat these issues more effectively. Thompson has a very similar background also. I found this article very interesting as it supports the views I have had on this topic for a long time. Coming from a background where healthy living blogs have been an area of interest for myself and people I know closely, I have often realised the blogs are not always consistent with healthy lifestyle thinking.

Kuei-Fang Hsiao and Nian-Shing Chen (Hsiao & Chen 2011) from the Department of Information Management, Taiwan wrote a journal report in 2011 titled, ‘The development of the AR-Fitness System in Education.’ Hsiao has written about augmented reality several times previously, as well as wireless technologies and Chen has focused particularly on ubiquitous learning, technology and education. This article views the recent emergence of technology and healthcare to create interactions with the virtual and real world and expands it into information used to create AR technology for students which they call ‘edutainment technologies,’ based on the five physical indicators of BMI (body mass index), cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. Hsiao and Chen designed a prototyped AR technology that aims to have the children moving and interacting with a screen in order to answer questions and proceed through their learning curriculum. Hsiao and Chen propose this technology might be more beneficial to subjects such as PE and sports as the children realise movement is incorporated into the curriculum, which I agree with. The struggle still seems to be convincing children of this revolutionary change in education that they currently understand as a sedentary activity so they can view it as a physical one instead.


Reference list

Boepple, L. & Thompson, J., K. 2014, ‘A content analysis of healthy living blogs: evidence on content thematically consistent with dysfunctional eating attitudes and behaviors’, International Journal of Eating Disorders, pp 362-367.

Hsiao, K. & Chen, N. 2011, ‘The development of the AR-fitness system in education’, Edutainment Technologies. Educational gmes and virtual reality/augumented reality applications, pp. 2–11

eNCA. 2014, unknown, E News Chanel Africa, date viewed 15 August 2016, < >.


Obese, unbalanced and addicted to technology


What actually is healthy living? (Ahmed 2012)

Post one by Marie Good

I decided to focus my research on the topic of obesity and healthy living. I currently work in the health food industry and have always had an interest in healthy living and the consequences our ways of living have on the body and broader areas such as our social settings. To begin with I focused my research on secondary sources such as online newspaper; decided also that instead of isolating one particular area of healthy living and obesity, I would tackle a range of topics under this umbrella and work on analysing them at my current knowledge level.

The first article researched, ‘Tim Spector and the genetic epidemiologists view of nutrition and health,’ (Parnell 2016) was written by well-known health editor, Sean Parnell, for The Australian in May of 2016. This article covers opinions related to the increased amount of nutrition information readily available to the public, yet the paralleled confusion and therefore rejection of this information in response. Parnell argues this may be due to the corruption of big player food corporations funding advertising campaigns in deceptive ways to constitute and encourage their share growth in our competitive food market. His inclusion of research conducted by reputable sources, such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Professor of genetic epidemiology, Tim Spectorassists the audience to believe his article is scientifically factual to a degree, however from those facts he creates arguments and conclusions of his own presumptions. The article refers quite heavily to Professor Spector and almost seems to entice the reader to purchase his latest book, making us think that his new information can broaden and assist our understanding of topics deeper than the basics, such as the role of microbiome in gut related functions. He goes as far to say this is the type of education that needs to be spread in schools. I do agree with some of the arguments proposed yet disagree with the use of one dominant source for information.

The second article (Williams 2016) by Tim Williams, chief executor of the Committee for Sydney, prominent United Kingdom political commentator and writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, discusses the restriction of walkable spaces in Sydney and blames this for the increase of obesity. Based mostly on opinion with little reference to research sources except two, Christopher Leinberg (land use strategist, developer and researcher) and SmartGrowth America (advocacy coalition for sustainable working and living communities), he argues that the price of real-estate developments and the demand for market share is downsizing the walkability of cities and creating what we know as city sprawl. He correlates a connection between economic and educational wealth of cities and their ability to retain walkable spaces, saying access to employment through transport costs offsets accommodation costs and that in order to increase walking in cities there needs to be a drop in real estate prices. He argues that those who live in expensive urban places can and will afford to walk or cycle for convenience of distance on their daily commute and are already of a higher socioeconomic status than those outside the city, who are forced to use transport as a way of access, thus widening the gap between socioeconomic status’ in Australia further. There is a lot of speculation in this article however William draws some interesting ideas about socioeconomic classes and the affordability of health and fitness.

Vanessa Brown, a Bachelor of Media graduate, Macquarie Radio and Nine Network producer, reports for, on obesity as an issue more prominent in English-speaking, third world countries regardless of the diet from other areas, such as France, that are known for their craft of fine cheese, wine and chocolate making (Brown 2016). She uses statistics collected by The Lancet, a UK medical journal, who have compared BMI increases over the last forty years between countries, to fuel her opinions and also heavily publicise the text, ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat,’ by Mireille Guiliano. It almost reads like a book advertisement because of this heavy reference. She does conclude, like in Parnell’s article, that a revised healthy living curriculum needs to be placed into the early childhood education system to change the future of healthy living and place a pause on this trend.

The fourth article (Robinson 2016) analysed is actually written by a practicing Australian general practitioner, Ann Robinson, who does not use speculation and bias in her article but states proven findings in regards to the way modern living can unbalance microbiome in the digestive system. Robinson starts out with sharing her knowledge of what microbiome are and how they protect us from disease, as well as other unwanted conditions, including mood swings, metabolic speed and the immune system. She also refers to Professor Tim Spector in regards to this potentially being the cause of weight gain in some while not in others partaking on the same diet. She uses her own practical knowledge and remains quite unbiased towards the topic. The article is very informative and states what is known to be true while also stating areas that are needing further investigations while providing rough time expectations for that. No bias seems to be presented here and is an informative article of value.

Posted in The Guardian by Jorge Armanet and supported by IBM Watson Health, is the first article I have discovered in support of the latest portable phone application craze, Pokemon Go (Armanet 2016). It covers the idea that gamers, a portion of society known previously for their couch potato nature, are now swapping their slippers for joggers and hitting the pavement to play the game. Armanet refers to previous applications such as, Couch to 5k and NHS Weight Loss, who are seeing people take to their forum rooms about how successful Pokemon Go has been at getting them off the couch and moving. I agree with the fact that it is encouraging physical activity to some degree, yet feel that it is also negatively impacting society on a mental level, with a lack of personal connection becoming a broader issue due to technological intervention. I agree with Armanet as he goes on to say the technology presented in Pokemon Go is a prime example of greater things to come in using technology for societal and personal health/development matters instead of making us lazy, unhealthy and unhappy; which appears to be the trend of current technological interaction within our daily lives.

Through the analysis of these five articles and areas of insight they have uncovered, I would like to research more into the ideas presented by Professor Tim Spector in regards to the influence and interactions of modern daily lifestyles towards our gut health and microbiome. I would also like to explore opinions regarding the emergence of traditionally unhealthy technology systems or augmented reality being altered through collaboration to change our way of interacting with healthy living attitudes and habits. Another area I am interested in exploring is the influence the cost of living has in the gap between sociology economic classes such as the convenience of access, through price and location of health food and healthy living activities.

Reference list

Ahmed, B. 2012, unknown image,, viewed 15 August 2016, < >.

Armanet, J. 2016, ‘Could Pokemon Go improve people’s health?’, The Gaurdian, 27 July, date viewed 2 August 2016, < &gt;.

Brown, V. 2016, ‘Study shows that while the world gets fat, the French are staying thin’,,  1st April, date viewed 31 July 2016, < >.

Parnell, S. 2016, ‘Tim Spector and the genetic epidemiologists view of nutrition and health’, The Australian, 13 May, date viewed 1 August 2016, < >.

Robinson, A. 2016, ‘Is your gut making you sick?’, The Guardian, 1 August, date viewed 2 August, < >.

Williams, T. 2016, ‘Sprawling Sydney makes it hard to walk and it’s bad for our health’, Sydney Morning Herald, < >.