Health

Child Obesity: Video Games are to Blame

child obesity advertThe rate of childhood obesity particularly in the UK is rising at a staggering rate and this has led to radical approaches by government agencies to help reduce the trend significantly. The latest effort by the UK Health Department is in the form of a print advert pictured below that links playing video games to early premature death. The advert shows a boy holding a game controller with the slogan: Risk an early death, just do nothing.

This new advert is bound to generate some controversy and raise eyebrows in certain quarters. Firstly, I am not aware of any scientific evidence that links playing video games to child obesity. In addition, the gaming industry appears to be a cheap target for these agencies and others such as Steve Easterbrook (UK Macdonald head) who suggested last year that gaming helps make people obese.

Without a doubt, there are other causes of inactivity and the focus should not be at discouraging children from playing video games which has its positive effects also – see ‘Video games are here to stay‘. There must be other ways of persuading children to take up a balanced and active lifestyle. Parents should be encouraged to monitor their children and ensure each child has the required hour of physical activity that is needed every day to reduce the risk of becoming overweight.



Talking Point

What are the best ways of preventing obesity in Children? Would you consider an HCG diet sample to help you get weight loss results you wanted?

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26 Comments

  1. Hmm wouldn’t it be the parents fault for letting the kids play the videos in the first place. The video games are not buying themselves.

  2. Life is all about balance, isn’t it? If we do not teach our children that at an early age, they may be prone to a deficiency of how to the enjoy many aspects of life such as the outdoors, exercise and reading a good book. Video games are fine, I agree, but I would hope that children are encouraged to seek other venues for healthy living.

  3. I agree, its a very lazy advert, which is ironic when you consider the content matter 😉

    Trouble is that video games and TV are all too often used by parents as babysitters, if children were allowed to play outside more like they used to be able to (without fear) they wouldn’t have to spend quite so much time indoors.

  4. I agree, video games are not the reason children are obese. While inactive, they chose to play video games. It’s a parents responsiblility to make sure their child isn’t sitting in front of a game for hours on end. At the end of the school year, my neighbor’s children go in. They don’t emerge until the first day of school, BIGGER. It is a parents responsibility!

  5. I have lots of known kids which are so addicted in playing video games and online games. But their still in their normal size. You have a very nice article very interesting.

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  7. I blame the parents who succumb to video games to keep their kids busy. I think it is the easy way out to keeping kids out of the way. In my time, we were kept busy with reading books, playing outdoors or riding our bikes. These days, I believe that outdoor games such as tag. leapfrog or hide-and-seek are unheard of among kids.

    What a waste. Those games are really a lot of fun!

  8. Toxins and Obesity

    If you have a difficult time losing weight, it may be a result of the toxins that are constantly being introduced into your bloodstream. The more fat your body has, the more toxins it will retain, and as you lose weight those fat cells will release toxins into the bloodstream. Once the toxins are in the bloodstream, they can cause harm to the body.

    Detoxification is the process of binding up these toxins and releasing them from the body.
    Although the study of detoxification and its impact on obesity is relatively new, researchers do understand some of the mechanisms involved with how toxins impact weight gain. In particular, toxins can impact your ability to lose weight in three significant ways:

    • Toxins slow your metabolism
    • Toxins decrease your ability to burn fat
    • Toxins slow down the satiety response time (the time it takes you to feel full)

    Toxins Slow Your Metabolism
    In the past it was thought that your resting metabolic rate (RMR) declined with weight loss primarily because of the decrease in caloric intake or changes in the ratio of muscle to fat. But clinical studies are now showing just how toxic internal toxins can be to our weight loss efforts.

    One of the first things toxins do when released into the bloodstream is slow down your RMR. So, as you begin to lose weight, those surfacing toxins begin to inhibit your ability to lose weight. However, if you can eliminate those toxins from the body quickly enough during or before a period of weight loss, you may be able to reduce the decline in your metabolism.

    Toxins Decrease Your Ability to Burn Fat
    The last thing you want to hear is that something in your blood is preventing your body from burning fat, but that is just what toxins can do. In 1971, for example, a study at the University of Nevada Division of Biochemistry determined that chemical toxins weakened by 20 percent the co-enzyme necessary to burn fat in the body. In 2002, researchers concluded that toxins released during weight loss had the capacity to damage the fat-burning mitochondria.1

    The damage was significant enough to negatively impact the body’s ability to burn calories and, in effect, fat.

    I have dedicated my life to All Natural and Organic living. I’m trying to help educate others through my store, my facebook fan page and great blogs like this. You can click on my name and follow the link to my store, plus the links for my facebook fan page are located on my store’s website. I encourage everyone to post articles on my facebook fan page that help educate people and also take articles to post them on your websites. We can beat America’s Health problem by educating as many people as we can about the dangers of mass produced, genetically modified, un-natural and chemically enhanced food most people consume. Only when we can show big business that we’re incontrol because we demand better quality over their profits and quantity, can we really beat Obesity and other Health issues in the US.

    Thank you and I hope to be posting more articles on this blog in the near future. I hope everyone will spread this information or their own on the subject.

  9. i personally think video games are a growing issue because people are not using moderation. When thats all they do of course they will grow. I think video games in moderation are actually great in kids but MODERATION isnt what people are good at lol

  10. I don’t think it’s video games that are causing obesity in our children. I think it has more to do with parents and genetics. Some parents are a bit irresponsible and feed their children unleahty food and don’t teach their children to exercise. The next thing is genetics where the parents are obese and because of that, their children are more likely to be obese.

  11. Obesity is always due to unhealthy food and no sports activity. It should strike out a balance and to guide children on healthy lifestyle. Do you think children will stop playing video games? Certainly not. So it all depends how the parents play a part to guide the child.

  12. I have the same problem years ago because I’ve been very busy working and my son was starting to indulge himself too much with video games. What I did was to introduce him to a sport and made a an agreement of him finishing some basic learning in swimming in exchange for something I know he really wants to have.
    There’s a certain age of a child when they would just say yes to anything that they think are good deals yet then leading them to something we desire for them and that is good. So far my son is still now in swimming, he liked it and I’m no longer worried of him getting obese because of video games. He still plays video games but not as focused as he used to before he started swimming lessons.
    I guess the best advice I can provide is that we try to indulge our kids to activities that they would benefit later in a long run and at the same time avoid them on too much video game rather than telling them again and again to stop playing vid games which doesn’t normally works at all.

  13. Kids need exercise and video games don’t help. But it is a diet of junk food that makes children obese. What kids eat and what they do is the responsibility of the parents. Sadly many parents eat junk and get no exercise themselves. Obesity runs in families – I don’t think this advertisement will achieve much.

  14. Unfortunately it is real problem and adults don’t even suspect how dangerous it can be for their children, I don’t blame games, they are not good or bad main problem are people who don’t control their children and let them do whatever they want.

  15. I think moderation is the key here. Its fine to play video games but you need to create some kind of balance. Exercise and a healthy diet should never be overlooked. Video games as a cause is just a new ‘trendy’ way for advertisers to try and be ‘current’ and ‘down with the kids’. I can see why they are doing it but simply sitting playing video games doesn’t cause obesity

  16. @Roger OBrian, that’s interesting what you say about fat holding toxins, I’ll have to look more into that.

    I do also agree with the authors statement that parents should ensure children get sufficient time doing physical activities but at the same time I agree that video games take children away from many of the activities that they should be doing such as running around with are children. I’ll go so far as to say that video games promote a sedentary lifestyle, younger children really do need to spend time playing (physically) with other children and playing video games (in my observations) seems like just another form of watching television for the twenty-first century. I’d like to know what other people think.

  17. I think video games is not the main reason. Because there are a lot of video game consoles now like psp where you can bring anywhere you want to. A kid could go out and hang out with his little buddies and play some link games or so. Also there is this wii console where the player needs to move to play the game.

  18. This advert is simplistic in the extreme. I can’t see how demonising video games in this way is going to help children to become more physically active. For years the TV was to blame for a lack of physical exercise in children and now it seems the emphasis has been shifted onto video/computer games. Surely the real problem is that so many parks and school playing fields (which I spent countless hours playing football on when I was young) are now either out of bounds to children or have been sold off to property developers by local councils.

  19. Video games aren’t to blame for children’s overall lack of exercise. Personally I think that this is an easy excuse. How about looking at the parents who allow their children to sit and play games all day long rather than taking them over to the park at the weekend? I know for a fact that these day parents are very busy juggling various things, such as work, and therefore rather than take their kids out they would rather just allow them to play video games. It keeps the children quiet and the parents have a break. This isn’t the way it should be yet we insist on blaming video games…..

  20. Maybe we should look into instituting taxes for games aimed towards children, or even better – all video games. We do it for cigarettes, why not do it for games; the money could be spent on public after school programs for children which promote physical activity. I’d like to hear other peoples ideas on how we can correct this problem in our society. Great post!

  21. You absolutely can’t just blame obesity on video games – thats crazy. Sure if a kid does nothing else but sit and play games they will become obese but if games are part of a mix of activities, indoor and out then they are fine – provided parental guidelines are followed of course!

  22. Industry is working as hard as possible to keep kids glued to entertainment sources that will simultaneously re-advertise their products and condition young minds to expect things only they can provide — or so we should believe. I mean, when can a working mom or dad really get out and build a treehouse or start a game of flag football with the neighborhood kids these days?

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