Action packed and thrilling video games have made every child view life as a heroic tale. But, reality says that such sedentary activities are pushing kids away from a healthy and active lifestyle. Adding one such possibility, scientists from the University of Ottawa have disclosed an apparent link between weight gain and video games.
As part of the study, 22 teens and their food consumption habits after being exposed to video games were monitored. After about an hour of gameplay, the subjects were offered a buffet. What disturbed the team was that the number of calories consumed by those who played video games was higher than those who did not involve themselves in such sedentary activities. The outcomes showed that young gamers apparently consumed an average of 163 calories each day more than the control group.
“When we think about how most youth can play videogames for several hours a day and how our data is based on after just one hour of play, we can conclude that our figures are actually pretty conservative. As well, in real life, many play with their friends, unlike in our study. And we know that we eat more in a group,” quoted Professor Chaput, who is also junior research chair of the CHEO Research Institute’s Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Program.
Therefore Chaput is of the opinion that real life figures could be higher than those seen in this analysis. He added that one reason for more food consumption after playing video games may be mental pressure encountered in the process. The brain mechanism in such conditions is such that it orders the body to take in more food to compensate for the stress phase.
Therefore, as far as weight gain goes, playing video games doesn’t look like a clever alternative even during leisure hours. Professor Chaput urges government participation in introducing programs that counter weight gain due to exposure to such activities. He concludes that certain organizations and regulations on this front ought to be put in place.
The report is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.