Applied Health Sciences

Marcela BomfimMarcela is a PhD Student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems (AHS), working under the supervision of Dr James Wallace. She holds a BSc in Nutrition and in Systems Analysis and an MSc in Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. 

"My research focuses on exploring Gameful Design to improve Food Literacy among people. My research leverages Self Determination Theory to build peoples' competence, autonomy, and relatedness around food, with the aim of making people more knowledgeable and skilled when planning and selecting foods, as well as promoting a celebratory food culture bringing people to eat together."

Marcela Bomfim

Marcela has been awarded the "Research Dissemination Award" for presenting at GRADTalks: Gamification as well as attending CHI and Persuasive Technology conferences this year.

Sample Publications 

Pirate Bri’s Grocery Adventure: Teaching Food Literacy through Shopping

Food Literacy (FL) is associated with the improvement of autonomy and confidence around food, healthier dietary intake, and chronic disease prevention. However, to date, behaviour change research at CHI has focused on motivating healthy eating mainly through weight loss and calorie control, which can lead to poor nutritional choices as consumers optimize caloric intake over a balanced diet. To address this gap, we designed a mobile game called Pirate Bri’s Grocery Adventure, that seeks to improve FL through a situated learning approach to grocery shopping. Our game leverages Self Determination Theory (SDT) to build a player’s competence, autonomy, and relatedness as shoppers are encouraged to develop an understanding of the nutritional benefits of foods and are rewarded for balancing sugar, sodium, fats and fibre in their purchases.


Marcela C.C. Bomfim

James R. Wallace 

For more information on Marcela's work, visit her University of Waterloo PhD Candidate profile.


University of Waterloo

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