For years now, video games – a mostly sedentary activity – have been cited as one of the reasons for the increase in childhood obesity. Kids are getting fat, and videogames are to blame; even the World Health Organisation says so. Only it’s not true.
A new study of US schoolchildren suggests that while they likely don’t help, games are not a driving factor behind your portly progeny packing on the pounds.
The study examined a group of 12-year-old children for a lengthy 3 year period. during this period, researchers kept tabs of their internet, mobile phone and video game use; and kept track of their scholastic achievements, height, weight, race and social standing. Their reading, mathematics, visuo-spatial recognition (Hand-eye co-ordination) and self-esteem were also charted.
The researchers found that though the children played more games than they used the internet or mobile phones, that didn’t have much bearing on their girth. Instead age, race and socioeconomic status were the biggest factors in predicting juvenile adiposity. That doesn’t give video games a free pass though; while games did lead to greater hand eye co-ordination, they also lead to lower academic achievement and a lower self esteem. Probably because douchebags on Xbox Live have been calling them fat.
For the record, This is why you’re fat.
Source : New Scientist
Last Updated: January 21, 2011