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Do Video Games Drive Obesity?

Video games have been in the news for a variety of reasons over the decades. Some people have made the claim that violent video games desensitize people to actual violence. Studies have debunked that, but there is another thing that needs to be looked into as well – do video games drive obesity?

Do Video Games Drive Obesity
Do Video Games Drive Obesity

There are a lot of things that have helped turn many people in developed countries into obese ones, which can cause a host of problems, including taxing a health care system to its limits. Many jobs require workers to just sit at their desks for eight hours a day, which is a far cry from those who worked out in the field in years past.

Are video games part of the problem or is this another case of people grabbing at low-hanging fruit to try to make the games a scapegoat for an obesity epidemic? Read on to learn more and also check out khalilicenter.com.

Sitting Down a Lot is a Problem

When people talk about video games, they are thinking of several things – a child or adult sitting down playing something on their phones, tablets, or via a console where they play the game using a controller. While they may have heightened excitement and adrenaline playing the game, it doesn’t exclude the fact that they can spend hours at a time seated on a sofa or gaming chair.

This is especially problematic if they have spent all day seated at work or school and had very little physical activity there. Combine that with several hours of gaming later, and you could be looking at more than 10 hours of sedentary time. If this is done each day, then it could be 70 hours a week. Imagine if you devoted some of that time to exercise?

There could be an exception to this – but it depends on how the market for this peripheral plays out. That peripheral is the Oculus, which does encourage more physical activity. Games like Beat Saber or boxing games can provide a lot more of a cardio workout and they could both help people who play them gain better reflexes and hand-eye coordination.

Food and Drink is Important, Too

Another thing that plays a crucial part in one’s size, either child or adult, is what they are putting into their bodies while they are busy playing. Chances are good that they will likely be eating sugary foods or a lot of carbs. The same goes for their beverages – they will be drinking a lot of sugary drinks, and that is an excess of calories that serves no nutritional purpose.

The goal here is for the gamer to get food and drink in their mouths so that they can keep playing. So they make quick choices – and they tend not to be the best ones. Which can add to their waistlines.

It can be easier for a parent to manage this – they can supervise what their child eats and discourage them from eating unhealthy things. It’s more of a problem when it’s the adults doing it … and they can set horrible examples for the children around them.

Bedtimes Play a Part

Children need to get a consistent amount of sleep each night so that their brains can develop. Lack of sleep can play a part in obesity in both children and adults. But it is not just the fact that they don’t go to bed at a consistent time that can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.

While this does not happen all the time, people may be eating food while they are playing video games, even close to bedtime. That means that they may go to bed soon afterwards while their body is still digesting food.

How to Manage This?

The best thing one can do is limit the amount of time spent on video games. If you are a parent who has a child who likes to play video games, it is not necessarily a bad thing to let them play. Just set limits on the time they spend doing that. Perhaps you could let them play only on the weekend and have them do other activities during the week – perhaps like a school sport or a martial art.

You can do the same as an adult. Go to the gym after work during the week or do a home workout. At least do something to get yourself moving. Try to limit the time you spend playing – you might have to set a good example for your child.

Yes, games can play some part in obesity, but if parents also monitor how their children are sleeping and eating and setting rules, it can help reverse this trend. Then, slowly but surely, society can improve, too.

Sources

  • https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200406/Do-video-games-make-children-fatter.aspx
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