Playing Video Games is Healthier than Just Watching Television

#Childhood

Sat, Apr 5th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

Motherboard reports on research suggesting that, "healthwise, you're much better off playing Call of Duty than you are watching a movie about war." In other worse, kids' health is far better if they're surfing the Internet or playing a game, than just plain watching TV.

Here’s how the study worked. Researchers evaluated just over a thousand middle-school students in southeast Michigan—already one of the unhealthiest regions in America—using standardized questionnaires asking about different sorts of screen time, snaking habits, and overall food and beverage choices. The students were then assessed physiologically for blood pressure, cholesterol, post-exercise heart rate recovery (a metric for general fitness), height, and weight. The students were then broken into three groups: low overall screen time, high TV time, and high internet/game time. Snacking behavior across all three groups was also evaluated against those same physical assessments, and what researchers found was that the TV watching group had much more shitty snacking habits, including a focus on high-fat, high-calorie foods.

So, the gamers were eating better, but why? Aren’t all sedentary pursuits prone to more or less the same catalog of snacks? Not really, no. The difference can partially be accounted for by television commercials, by now very precisely targeted at TV watchers with pitches for fast food, candy, and salty fat wafers. The researchers also point out that TV watchers are more likely to have free hands available for the transfer of unhealthy foods from bag to face.

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