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Monday, December 13, 2010

Video games get kids to eat veggies

This is good! All kids must have this video game!

Video games get kids to eat more veg, fruit

WASHINGTON : After being fingered as a key cause of the rising rate of US childhood obesity, video games got a reprieve Tuesday as a new study showed they can be used to encourage kids to eat healthier foods.

The study, conducted in the United States, where nearly one in five six- to 19-year-olds is obese, found that children who played certain "serious" video games - not the blockbuster blood-and-guts ones like "Black Ops" - increased the amount of fruit and vegetables they ate per day by around one serving.

That is a useful step towards fighting childhood flab because "increased fruit and vegetable intakes have been associated with decreased risk of obesity," says the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Baylor College of Medicine professor Tom Baranowski, who led the study, said the video games "Escape from Diab" and "Nanoswarm," which were designed to change diet and physical activity behaviours to reduce the risk of becoming obese and diabetic, "motivated players to substantially improve diet behaviours.

"Diab and Nanoswarm were designed as epic video game adventures, comparable to commercial quality video games. These games incorporate a broad diversity of behaviour change procedures woven in and around engrossing stories," he said.

Playing both games several times "had a meaningful effect on dietary fruit and vegetable intake," the study found.

But while that was good news, the bad news was that the children did not get more exercise, and, even with their increased intake of healthy foods, they still failed to eat the doctor-recommended minimum daily amount of fruit and vegetables.

Health professionals recommend that children eat five servings a day of fruit or vegetables and get an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise.

"Serious video games hold promise, but their effectiveness and mechanisms of change among youth need to be more thoroughly investigated," said Baranowski.

The childhood obesity rate in the United States has tripled in 30 years, with experts blaming the rise on everything from a poor diet based on processed foods to kids spending too much time in front of the television or playing computer games when they could be outside exercising.

Obese children are more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to grow up to be obese adults, to suffer from a number of obesity-related conditions including diabetes, cadiovascular disease and fatty liver disease, and to die prematurely of any cause, various studies have found.

- AFP/il

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Video games get kids to eat more veg, fruit

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Weight, Waist and Health

It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight: A Story of Enlightenment, Empowerment, and Accomplishment for Overweight and Obese Kids; Boys' EditionHere is something that every child should know - that every parent should know as well. It is regarding their kids' health, and it should be of prime importance.

Read on...

Childhood Obesity: How to Prevent It, and How to Deal With ItIt's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight: A Story of Enlightenment, Empowerment, and Accomplishment for Overweight and Obese Kids; Girls' EditionTeam Up at Home: Team Nutrition Activity BookletSuper Size MeOverweight: What Kids Say: What's really causing the childhood obesity epidemic? (1)Waist size may communicate more about a child's cardiovascular health than measuring height, weight and body mass index, according to new research.

With the number of children who are overweight and obese on the rise, it's not too early to begin identifying children at higher risk for heart disease and looking for ways to intervene and prevent disease, according to pediatricians. Researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute examined data from 4,667 children ages 6 to 17. They found that the child's waist circumference correlated with higher pulse pressure (the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, and an indication of an increased risk of heart-related diseases). The child's body mass did not correlate with pulse pressure, however.

Having reliable ways to check children for possible risk factors that cause heart disease is important, said Dr. Gangadarshni Chandramohan, the lead author of the study.

"This study suggests pediatricians add their waist measurements to their routine screening of children to help determine the risk of heart-related disorders," he said in a news release. "Measuring waist circumference is a much simpler, more cost-effective and a more valid method of screening for the risk of heart-related disorders than the current practice of determining a child's body mass."

The study was presented Friday at the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week conference in Denver.

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Waist size says a lot about kids' health
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