New DHF Facebook game helps people with diabetes improve everyday behaviors

We are SUPER-excited to announce one of the biggest undertakings we’ve worked on pretty much since we launched our communities.

It’s called HealthSeeker, a new Facebook® game, with the goal of helping players make specific lifestyle changes that focus on healthy eating. While the benefits of the game are available to anyone, HealthSeeker™ specifically helps people with diabetes make more informed lifestyle decisions in an innovative way that complements their daily use of social media.

HealthSeeker™ combines a supportive social networking environment with important information on managing diabetes. The game utilizes the player’s own Facebook® friends as sources of inspiration and support on the road to better health.

There are MISSIONS and ACTION STEPS to help players achieve LIFESTYLE GOALS and create an opportunity to advance in the game. These LIFESTYLE GOALS include eating more healthfully, achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, improving one’s diabetes control and lowering cardiovascular risk factors. As ACTION STEPS are completed and players return to report their progress, they receive experience points and other awards for their achievements.

HealthSeeker™ is a unique collaboration between diabetes experts and patient advocates who are on the front lines of diabetes care. It was developed by the Diabetes Hands Foundation in collaboration with Joslin Diabetes Center, with financial support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

We wanted to harness the Facebook® phenomenon to help people with diabetes make necessary changes in their daily lives. Many people with diabetes struggle with the lifestyle changes that are needed to help manage their condition, such as adding more fiber, fruit and vegetables to their diets, or increasing their daily activity. HealthSeeker™ can help people with diabetes stay motivated by suggesting simple, everyday steps to help them achieve their lifestyle goals and then rewarding them for their success.

One of the people involved in the Joslin team was Dr. Richard Jackson (an endocrinologist and Director of Medical Affairs, Healthcare Services, Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School). He had this to say about the game and his hopes for it:

"As a clinician who has been treating people with diabetes for over 30 years, I can tell you that food is often the most frustrating area of concern for people with the condition. We hope this novel and engaging game will break down some of the barriers that are preventing people with diabetes from building a successful lifestyle approach to their condition."

Here is a video to give you a feel about the game:

HealthSeeker™ can be accessed at The game was designed by Ayogo Games, Inc.

Great, I added it and invited all kinds of people… Maybe now I can get the motivation to exercise again. lol

Well… as The Beatles would say: “I get by with a little help from my friends!” :wink:

checking it out now

Let us know your thoughts. Here’s the game’s fan page, where you can leave feedback in the Forum:

Hmmm i do like challenges, and i love points… i’m going to start slow and do just two missions, one has to do with exercise the other has to do with monitoring.

Take it at your own pace, Domo!

Going to check it out now. :smiley:

Super!! Let us know what you think: tell all your Facebook friends about it!!!

I took 3 missions. I will work exercise today! yay!

I don’t like to criticize something that may actually help many people, but the ideas being promoted in this game go against many things I’ve come to believe in. I’m rather dissapointed in DHF and especially Joslin.

I have been following a low carb routine for two years now. I’m not dead yet. On the contrary, I’m doing a heck of a lot better than before in terms of BG control, weight management, BP, and energy levels. No you don’t fall on your face when you for-go the mega-carb diet. You actually thrive! It’s not just me but aslo teh many other people, diabetic and non who are succeeding with this approach.

This game is heavy on grain consumption. Did you know an estimated 1/20 type 1’s have Celiac’s? Did you know there’s a suspected link between wheat and type 1? After reading up on the relationship, my links and many more, why on earth would any type 1 want to eat wheat based products? I don’t anymore.

Joslin/Harvard are known as staunch carb pushers. They discard or discredit every piece of evidence anti-carb evidence. They continue to spew the saturated fat is bad myth even though there’s no scientific evidence showing that it is. None!

Yes, new diabetics will find an improvement following this method, but forget about reversing anything and getting off meds. Expect your 4% progression per year.

thank god i love carbs

Hello PowerPumper,
As a reference, here are the 12 missions offered in the game currently, some of which are focused on carbs (in general), some of which are focused on grains/fiber/fruits and then some that have nothing to do with eating at all:

  • Roughin’ It: The Fiber Mission
  • Groovy Grains! The Whole Grain Mission
  • Over the Rainbow: The Fruits and Veggies Mission
  • The Phat Mission!
  • Jack Sprat Could Eat No Fat
  • Snack Attack!
  • What the Fiber?
  • A Dash’ll Do Ya: The Sodium Mission
  • Carbs Count!
  • It’s a Numbers Game! The Monitoring Mission
  • Move It! Move It!
  • I WILL Move It! Move It!

As for the comment on saturated fat, I am including a screenshot from “The Phat Mission” (focused on fats) from the game:

There is a clear reference on it about the role of different kind of fats.

I wouldn’t encourage you to change anything that is working for you. Perhaps you can look into some of the missions that you feel comfortable with.

If you can send us specific comments about missions/action items that you feel could be improved upon, we’d love to hear them.

More learning to do ???
Darn …at my age ? …just joking … yes, I would like to carry on making a difference in the lives of the people around me , PWD’s or not .
Same as Domo, I love my ( healthy /good ) carbs too .

Amen, Nel!

Pardon, Tom. What is a ridiculous, patronizing idea?

Have you tried the game? You should. All of us have something to learn, no matter how good we may be at what we do…

I think most people DON’T know how to eat until they are confronted with a life changing situation that forces them to have to learn and make some changes. I don’t think it is entirely ridiculous to have this application, especially since it’s such a non threatening environment (as compared to some support groups). As resources go, a lot of information is all over the place, and a lot of people don’t know where to look. This application puts it all together, and has a LOT of information in it, and not just about diet. I think, irrespective of how many carbs each and every one of us can get away with eating, the game teaches sensible carb counting, and portioning, and using our glucose meters to manage that… It helps as a way for people to have buddies to keep motivated to do things, too; a support system for some of us who maybe may not have any support at all from our families, and actually provides structure and challenges for those who have trouble knowing where to start.

I don’t think having an application like this means one is dumb… or that one is being patronized, at all… It is simply a way to try to help give direction to people who may need motivation, or don’t know where to start, and are too scared to move. Let’s not try to demean people’s efforts… Maybe provide constructive criticism, sure… But we need to look for ways to effect positive change and not end up alienating others who are worthy pillars in our daily support.


We, at DHF run many initiatives, not all of them are a good fit for all TuDiabetes members.

A facebook game on healthy eating may not be the thing for you personally, but it may be great for many others, and not only people with diabetes…

Personally, I will take any help and reminders I can on improving my behavior about food, exercise or stress. Not necessarily because I don’t know what is best for my health, but because I sometime get distracted… so I am exited to see if this will help me keep something in mind and take small steps.

You can take away my strength, but don’t you ever take my carbs from me lol