Video systems like Wii Fit not working against child obesity: study

Video games designed to encourage children to exercise don’t do anything to prevent obesity, a study has concluded. It found that children either find a way to trick the games “into thinking they are moving around, or they make up for exercise by vegging out more later,” reports Maggie Fox for the National Journal.

“It doesn’t appear that there’s any public-health value to having active video games available in stores — simply having those active video games available on the shelf or at home doesn’t automatically lead to increased levels of physical activity in children,” said Dr. Tom Baranowski.
Baranowski and his Baylor College of Medicine team studied 78 children, whom they gave the video system Wii to play with. “It’s not clear whether those in the study group were more active as a result of the video games but compensated by being less active later, or if they found a way to manipulate the instruments to minimize the amount of physical activity,” he said.
Other studies have shown the video systems are beneficial to some age groups, including seniors, Fox reports. The study is published in the journal Pediatrics. (Read more)
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