Computer games can help kids fight obesity

May 31st, 2011 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, May 31 (IANS) While parents usually worry over the negative influences of computer games on their children, scientists in New Zealand have found such games are actually beneficial for children.

In a two-year study of 300 children, conducted by the University of Auckland, scientists have been looking at how sustained use of games, which have an active element like dance mats or motion sensors, can be good for overweight children.

The study’s results have shown a positive effect on the body mass index of the active gamers aged between 10 and 14, compared to the control group of children who were not regularly playing the games, TVNZ reported Tuesday.

According to principal investigator Ralph Maddison, the effects were small but showed gaming could play a role in enabling kids to remain active.

“The study findings show that this technology has the potential to be a useful addition to a raft of health interventions. It could have significant implications for how health professionals to combat the obesity epidemic or develop rehabilitation programmes,” he said.

“Also because of the appeal of traditional video games, at an individual level, parents may have more success encouraging the substitution of sedentary video games with more active ones rather than trying to stop children and young people from gaming altogether.”

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