The Popularity Of Video Games And Their Effects On Obesity In Children

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The Popularity of Video Games and Their Effects on Obesity in Children


There are also a number of concerns about the potential effects of heavy video game play on children's physical health, including obesity, video-induced seizures, and postural, muscular, and skeletal disorders such as tendinitis, nerve compression, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The causes for these types of disorders vary from posture at the computer to the repetitive nature of movements used with input devices (e.g., keyboards, mice, and joysticks). Most of the information on these types of disorders has been collected on adults (Gentile, 31).


Childhood obesity has multiple possible causes, which can be best understood by considering the combined effect of societal, genetic, and behavioral factors. Two important trends in society may increase the risk for childhood obesity. The first issue deals with consumption. The Food Guide Pyramid, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and supported by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), outlines the recommended intakes for five food groups, with foods listed from bottom to top in order of portion size. According to the pyramid, carbohydrates from grains should be eaten in the greatest quantity, followed by fruits and vegetables, protein and dairy, and fats. Only 1% of children are meeting the nutritional intake recommendations from the Food Guide Pyramid, suggesting deficits in proper nutrition. This may be related to the availability and ingestion of convenient, inexpensive, flavorful, and high-fat foods.

The research demonstrates that child obesity is linked to video games and the level of body fat is related to television watching (Gillespie, 24). In addition, research indicates that the more time a child spends engaging in such sedentary activities the greater the likelihood that the child will be obese; and that the relation between lack of physical exercise and being overweight begins early, during the preschool years. Within this environment, certain children may be at particular risk for obesity.

Sedentary behavior and “inactivity,” such as watching television and playing video/computer games, also are contributory factors. (Anderson, 35) reported an adjusted-odds ratio (OR) for obesity of 8.3 for adolescents who watched TV more than 5 hours per day compared with those who watched 0 to 2 hours. Compelling evidence comes from intervention studies, which show that reducing TV viewing time can help prevent childhood obesity. Adults in a trial of maintenance following weight loss sustained their losses best when physical activity was high and television viewing ...
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