Video Games and Obesity

<!– @page size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in P margin-bottom: 0.08in –>

It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that video games and obesity are linked. I have to admit that I am a little jealous and grateful at the same time that the technology of today was not around when I was a child. Video games can be fun and are definitely addictive. Overweight children generally live more sedentary lifestyles and are socially less active. They have more idle time and since video games can be so addictive they find themselves playing games for entertainment. The implications of this is that playing video games could cause obesity rather than obesity being a cause of playing video games.

Comparing video games and obesity to television viewing it would seem fairly obvious that television viewing is the worse of the two evils. Most traditional video games require the use of two hands to operate the game controller. One could theorize that while playing video games children are snacking less and are not exposed to advertisements promoting unhealthy foods. Of course, the downside to this theory is the “pause” button. Additionally studies have shown that heavier children spend more time in sedentary activities than thinner kids do. Children with lower body mass indexes are more likely to use computers for non-game purposes, and their video game usage varies.

Because of video games and obesity the manufacturers of electronic games have had a bad reputation over the years. But just like any good business they have come up with a solution that may very well be an answer to childhood obesity. Integrated game consoles such as Nintendo Wii have opened up a whole new perspective on physical activity. “Children burn more than four times as many calories per minute playing an active …