Article

Video game playing increases food intake in adolescents: A randomized crossover study

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.92). 06/2011; 93(6):1196-203. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.110.008680
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Video game playing has been linked to obesity in many observational studies. However, the influence of this sedentary activity on food intake is unknown.
The objective was to examine the acute effects of sedentary video game play on various components of energy balance.
With the use of a randomized crossover design, 22 healthy, normal-weight, male adolescents (mean ± SD age: 16.7 ± 1.1 y) completed two 1-h experimental conditions, namely video game play and rest in a sitting position, followed by an ad libitum lunch. The endpoints were spontaneous food intake, energy expenditure, stress markers, appetite sensations, and profiles of appetite-related hormones.
Heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, sympathetic tone, and mental workload were significantly higher during the video game play condition than during the resting condition (P < 0.05). Although energy expenditure was significantly higher during video game play than during rest (mean increase over resting: 89 kJ; P < 0.01), ad libitum energy intake after video game play exceeded that measured after rest by 335 kJ (P < 0.05). A daily energy surplus of 682 kJ (163 kcal) over resting (P < 0.01) was observed in the video game play condition. The increase in food intake associated with video game play was observed without increased sensations of hunger and was not compensated for during the rest of the day. Finally, the profiles of glucose, insulin, cortisol, and ghrelin did not suggest an up-regulation of appetite during the video game play condition.
A single session of video game play in healthy male adolescents is associated with an increased food intake, regardless of appetite sensations. The trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01013246.

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    • "It is impossible based on this study design to determine potential effects of game play on subsequent energy intake and expenditure. Play of video games with a traditional controller has been found to increase food consumption after a play session [25]; thus, it is possible that later increases in energy intake could erase the expenditure benefits of motion-controlled action gaming and result in overall positive energy balance. Results should also be generalized with caution due to possible differences between eligible participants who completed the study and those who did not attend their appointment or who were eligible but not asked to participate because recruitment goals (i.e., 100 participants, 50 per gender) were reached. "
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