Active Video Games: Mixed Benefit In Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aidan Gribbon M.Sc., CSEP-CEP
From the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: The background for the study is that sedentary pursuits, such as video games, are omni-present in the daily lives of adolescents. Manufacturers of active video games (AVG) have been marketing them as a ‘healthy’ alternative to seated video games, with the possibility of preventing/treating obesity in this age group. Although, active video games have been shown to acutely increase energy expenditure over their seated counterparts, no study has examined their compensatory adjustments in energy expenditure or energy intake.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: The main finding of this paper was that although active video games are not associated with an increased food intake, they are compensated for by a decrease in physical activity such that their benefit of a reduction in the energy gap underlying weight gain is offset within 24 hours.


Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Based on this main finding, clinicians and patients should recognize that caution should be used when prescribing active video games for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Randomized control trials are required to confirm our findings. Future research should focus on comparing the effects of active video games on energy balance, body composition, and physical fitness with those of ‘authentic’ exercise. The long term relation between active video games and energy intake along with the adoption and adherence to AVG over seated video games will also need to be examined.

Citation:

Aidan Gribbon, Jessica McNeil, Ollie Jay, Mark S Tremblay, and Jean-Philippe Chaput

Active video games and energy balance in male adolescents: a randomized crossover trial Am J Clin Nutr ajcn105528; First published online March 11, 2015. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.105528

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aidan Gribbon M.Sc., CSEP-CEP, From the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, & Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2015). Active Video Games: Mixed Benefit In Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity