Energy intake and expenditure during sedentary screen time and motion-controlled video gaming

Department of Nutrition, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 07/2012; 96(2):234-9. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.111.028423
Source: PubMed


Television watching and playing of video games (VGs) are associated with higher energy intakes. Motion-controlled video games (MC) may be a healthier alternative to sedentary screen-based activities because of higher energy expenditures, but little is known about the effects of these games on energy intakes.
Energy intake, expenditure, and surplus (intake - expenditure) were compared during sedentary (television and VG) and active (MC) screen-time use.
Young adults (n = 120; 60 women) were randomly assigned to the following 3 groups: television watching, playing traditional VGs, or playing MCs for 1 h while snacks and beverages were provided. Energy intakes, energy expenditures, and appetites were measured.
Intakes across these 3 groups showed a trend toward a significant difference (P = 0.065). The energy expenditure (P < 0.001) was higher, and the energy surplus (P = 0.038) was lower, in MC than in television or VG groups. All conditions produced a mean (±SD) energy surplus as follows: 638 ± 408 kcal in television, 655 ± 533 kcal in VG, and 376 ± 487 kcal in MC groups. The OR for consuming ≥500 kcal in the television compared with the MC group was 3.2 (95% CI: 1.2, 8.4). Secondary analyses, in which the 2 sedentary conditions were collapsed, showed an intake that was 178 kcal (95% CI: 8, 349 kcal) lower in the MC condition than in the sedentary groups (television and VG).
MCs may be a healthier alternative to sedentary screen time because of a lower energy surplus, but the playing of these games still resulted in a positive energy balance. This trial was registered at as NCT01523795.

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Available from: Dianne S Ward, Feb 10, 2016
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    • "However, up until now, little is known about energy intake during active gaming. So far only two studies have evaluated energy intake during playing active games [32,34]. Both studies showed no difference in energy intake while playing active games compared to energy intake while playing non-active games. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Excessive body weight, low physical activity and excessive sedentary time in youth are major public health concerns. A new generation of video games, the ones that require physical activity to play the games –i.e. active games- may be a promising alternative to traditional non-active games to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviors in youth. The aim of this manuscript is to describe the design of a study evaluating the effects of a family oriented active game intervention, incorporating several motivational elements, on anthropometrics and health behaviors in adolescents. Methods/Design The study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT), with non-active gaming adolescents aged 12 – 16 years old randomly allocated to a ten month intervention (receiving active games, as well as an encouragement to play) or a waiting-list control group (receiving active games after the intervention period). Primary outcomes are adolescents’ measured BMI-SDS (SDS = adjusted for mean standard deviation score), waist circumference-SDS, hip circumference and sum of skinfolds. Secondary outcomes are adolescents’ self-reported time spent playing active and non-active games, other sedentary activities and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. In addition, a process evaluation is conducted, assessing the sustainability of the active games, enjoyment, perceived competence, perceived barriers for active game play, game context, injuries from active game play, activity replacement and intention to continue playing the active games. Discussion This is the first adequately powered RCT including normal weight adolescents, evaluating a reasonably long period of provision of and exposure to active games. Next, strong elements are the incorporating motivational elements for active game play and a comprehensive process evaluation. This trial will provide evidence regarding the potential contribution of active games in prevention of excessive weight gain in adolescents.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • "The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to investigate psychosocial variables measured during a study comparing TV watching, typical video gaming, and motion-controlled video gaming (described above) [13]. The effects on energy intake of several different measures of distraction were studied: transportation, spatial presence, and engagement. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Watching television and playing video games increase energy intake, likely due to distraction from satiety cues. A study comparing one hour of watching TV, playing typical video games, or playing motion-controlled video games found a difference across groups in energy intake, but the reasons for this difference are not clear. As a secondary analysis, we investigated several types of distraction to determine potential psychosocial mechanisms which may account for greater energy intake observed during sedentary screen time as compared to motion-controlled video gaming. Methods Feelings of enjoyment, engagement (mental immersion), spatial presence (the feeling of being in the game), and transportation (immersion in a narrative) were investigated in 120 young adults aged 18 – 35 (60 female). Results Only narrative transportation was associated with total caloric intake (ρ = .205, P = .025). Transportation was also higher in the TV group than in the gaming groups (P = .002) and higher in males than in females (P = .003). Transportation mediated the relationship between motion-controlled gaming (as compared to TV watching) and square root transformed energy intake (indirect effect = −1.34, 95% confidence interval −3.57, −0.13). No other distraction-related variables were associated with intake. Conclusions These results suggest that different forms of distraction may differentially affect eating behavior during screen time, and that narrative appears to be a particularly strong distractor. Future studies should further investigate the effects of narrative on eating behavior.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
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    ABSTRACT: With the modernization of societies, daily living, school, chores and work tasks are less energy demanding and sedentary behaviors such as television viewing and video game playing are pervasive, particularly in children and adolescents. This sedentary behavior constellation has contributed to the progression of overweight and obesity. The low energy expenditure associated to daily sedentary behaviors has been postulated as the primary mechanism to explain population weight gain; however, recent evidence reveals that many sedentary behaviors also promote overconsumption of food. The present paper summarizes the available literature about the impact of sedentary behaviors on energy intake and appetite sensations in children and adolescents. Overall, screen-based sedentary behaviors (e.g., television viewing and video game playing) stimulate food intake in children and youth, while the influence of non-screen sedentary behaviors on feeding behavior remains largely unexplored. As in adults, insufficient sleep and waked resting positions (sitting or bed rest) are associated with increased energy consumption. Because all of these activities increase energy intake in the absence of hunger, the hedonic (rewarding) component of eating behavior seems to play an important role. At present, public health recommendations focus on increasing physical activity energy expenditure and reducing sedentary time in children and youth. From an energy balance standpoint, the impact of modern sedentary behaviors on food consumption should also be considered if we want to curb childhood obesity. A better understanding of the physiological, psychological and sociological mechanisms involved in the nutritional adaptations to sedentary activities is needed to more adequately elucidate the interplay between sedentary behaviors, feeding behaviors and obesity.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012
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