Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Study Shows TV Makes Kids Fat, Computers Don't

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the now-pass-the-cheetos dept.

Medicine 276

Xemu writes "Computers don't make children fat, but watching TV for the same length of time does. This is shown by a recent Swedish study of all school children in Lund's county conducted by RN Pernilla Garmy. The results were clear: The child's obesity was directly affected by placing a TV in the child's room, but placing a computer in the room had no effect at all. One theory is that it's common to have a snack in front of the TV, while a computer requires a more active user, for example when chatting or playing games."

cancel ×

276 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I knew it (5, Funny)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425954)

Computers are awesome.

Re:I knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426398)

According to the first word of the summary, so do computer's.

Re:I knew it (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426548)

Yeah, and the Internet? I think it might be time to take it seriously.

What about my Slingbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425974)

It's TV on the computer!

So if I want to get fat quickly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31425978)

I just have to buy a bunch of TVs in my room, sleep overnight and the next morning I should be very fat right?

Interesting (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425982)

The article is likely correct about the snacks and food. Also, no offense intended to anyone, but I've noticed that people who just zone out to television as compared to active computer users/gamers tend to be a bit...dumber.

Yes yes, I know, a generalization...but in my experience, it's the truth.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426022)

Personally, I've noticed the same thing, and I think it's because of the interaction. A television simply feeds you information, and you accept it. That makes you quite adept at just accepting information. In contract, a computer, even used for only playing games, requires some critical thought to decide what to do next.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426144)

Alas there are *many* companies and governments that would love to turn the internet into TV 2.0, which also just feeds you information.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426396)

That is EXACTLY the idea. "They" want to be able to feed information to you 24x7 wherever you are through your little mobile device that has your credit card number stored so you can instantly buy whatever crap "they" are currently selling. I do not like where this road takes us.

Re:Interesting (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426360)

" requires some critical thought to decide what to do next."
HAHAHAHAHahahahahahaha. Oh man, your bias is laughable...so I laughed.

A) Do you even play games with other people? Because they more often don't seem so smart.
B) People just accept information in every medium. TV, Computer, Newspaper, books, anything. Have you not been on the internet and read what people believe or post?

Re:Interesting (2, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426562)

You'd be surprised. Also, on the internet, there is still some thinking required - people navigate to pages by choice. Television would be akin to the browser opening tabs of its own accord. As passive as random browsing is, there's still some decision-making with choosing what links to click on, whereas television simply bombards you with information.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

Lueseiseki (1189513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426798)

I don't think he's trying to imply that every person that communicates with computers is "smart".

I think he's trying to say that since the computer is an open platform for many different applications, ie. games, web chat, web browsing, media editing, it requires more thought on what to do and how to do it. In contrast, one of the biggest concerns while watching TV might be whether to watch channel 231 or 452.

Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426822)

Have you not been on the internet and read what people believe or post?

Almost without fail these people grew up watching TV.

Re:Interesting (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426606)

Brain activity does burn some calories. Perhaps not much, but it's still doing it. And TV watching does require less thinking.

A quick googling offered this [google.com] as a starting point.

Re:Interesting (1)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426064)

I remember a study (sorry no citation) that found that sleeping burns more calories than watching TV.

Re:Interesting (1)

ndavis (1499237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426120)

I think this is primarily due to the snack foods. For a while I stopped playing games at night and started watching TV during that time and I gained about 10 lbs and was not sure why. So I started to track what I was eating and I noticed that while I watched TV I would eat ice cream or something that required two hands.

Then I purchased some games for my PS3 and started playing those at night instead (as I realized nothing on TV interested me) and noticed that while I might eat while I play it was typically a lot less and I typically grabbed some almonds or something that is at least not as bad.

While this is just my experience I think TV makes it easier to eat. I also notice this when football season starts as I tend to watch a lot of games and eat and drink while at the same time.

Re:Interesting (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426168)

My favourite TV snack is celery and nutella [wikipedia.org] . Healthy, tasty, and filling.

90% of the calories from sugar and fat.. (2, Insightful)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426370)

The fact that celery is a calorie negative food still doesn't make up for the fact that nutella is fat and sugar with chocolate and hazelnut flavor.

I dunno if it's worse than peanut butter, but healthy it isn't.

Re:90% of the calories from sugar and fat.. (2, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426552)

Taken from the website http://www.nutellausa.com/ingredients.htm [nutellausa.com] : ingredients: sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

And the nutrition label:

http://www.nutellausa.com/nutrition-facts.htm [nutellausa.com]

It's about on par with Jif.

Re:90% of the calories from sugar and fat.. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426840)

Who claimed Jif is healthy? The primary ingredient of your Nutella is sugar, and then oil, and then nuts, and ingredients are required to be listed in the order of their proportion in the US (so sugar could be 80% of Nutella and that would still be an accurate ingredient list). You're almost certainly just eating a pile of sugar and oil on celery. If you want healthy, start looking at something that has the nuts as the primary ingredient instead of one of the other ones.

Re:Interesting (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426216)

Oh, and a bit of self promotion (which I love to do, lol)...over the course of a month, I wrote a series of articles about being healthy while gaming...two of them deal with nutrition, one with exercise, and the other is comfort. You might find them interesting:

http://livingwithanerd.com/tag/healthy-gamer-series/ [livingwithanerd.com]

Re:Interesting (1)

Cazakatari (1403081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426206)

I don't think food has anything to do with it, more of how ''active'' someone is. Even just websurfing you have to be thinking about something and making cognitive decisions. The brain is a energy intensive organ, and studies have shown that ''thinking'' increases energy needs. Like you said, watching TV turns you into a vegetable.

What I would like to see is a comparison of watching TV and using something like youtube or hulu. One would hypothesize that they would begin to show similar results.

Re:Interesting (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426282)

I don't think food has anything to do with it

That is impossible, of course. Like saying you don't think overfilling your gas tank has nothing to do with how much gas you put in, but its because you didn't drive enough.

Re:Interesting (1)

Cazakatari (1403081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426426)

Thanks for not giving me the benefit of the doubt.

We're comparing two gas tanks here genius. The point is that both are probably filled equally.

Re:Interesting (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426750)

They probably aren't filled equally.

The article doesn't have any numbers in it, but if you put the difference between obese and not for 10 year old kids at 10 pounds their intake would need to be within 10 calories per day of one another, to be 'equal'.

Re:Interesting (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426330)

Sadly, nothing backs you up. You might want to think about your personal bias.

It also helps to learn to slaughter sacred cows.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426380)

That coming from a computer user - I bet, most people zoning out in front of the TV will object to your analysis... ...likely even claim, that zoning out in front of the TV teaches you more than zoning out in front of World of Warcraft... ;-)

Neither would automatically be right, but it's just the reflex action assuming it's the other side who is the more stupid one.

Re:Interesting (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426578)

likely even claim, that zoning out in front of the TV teaches you more than zoning out in front of World of Warcraft... ;-)

Not if I'm streaming documentaries through Netflix on my secondary monitor while grinding ;-)

Re:Interesting (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426566)

>Yes yes, I know, a generalization...but in my experience, it's the truth.

Err, its still a generalization with nothing to back it up. I'm not one typically to defend TV, but I can imagine a credible opposite to your argument.

When I watch TV, I'm either watching comedies or watching something that is teaching me something. With comedies, I'm often laughing or commenting on the show to the person next to me. During the other shows I would feel intellectually stimulated, pause it, maybe do a related web search, etc. TV is very social. I can watch it with others.

When I use a computer, I tend to read discussion sites or play games. Both involve snacking. When I was foolish enough to play MUDs and MMOs this involved meals at the PC, and lots of dumb grinding. Other games involve dumb puzzle solving. This is usually a solo activity. Im slumped in a chair and clicking a mouse.

Anyway, my point is all of this depends on the way you use television or the computer and your dietary habits. Not to mention cause vs correlation. Ive read other studies about the light from the TV causing insomnia. Insomnia is also linked to obesity, mood disturbances, and mental illness. Perhaps the smaller screen from a laptop or PC minimizes this effect. Who knows. Without some real proof we're just projecting our biases.

Re:Interesting (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426716)

    I strongly suspect that the dumber part would apply to what the subject was watching. Sure, an American Idol marathon followed by countless hours of ... well, a vast array of mindless television designed to fill the airwaves slightly better than a test pattern, could dumb the subject down just below the IQ of a rock (my apologies to the rocks for the implied insult).

    Some shows are educational, either in their direct education value (documentaries) or through making you think harder (some dramas and comedies). The later category falls way behind though. Those stuck in a particular genre and continue to watch it even after they can predict the ending from the first few minutes, need to change to something new they can learn from. I've had some fun with that, watching a couple minutes of a show, blurting out "The wife did it", and walking out to do something more constructive. It always throws people when I'm right. :) Of course, it takes them 30 to 60 minutes to find out, while I've done something more constructive (built sometime, surfed internet porn, whatever).

    The same can be said for games. Ok, maybe you've become the worlds greatest Solitaire or Minesweeper player. Great. Move on to something else. Maybe write your own version. Online. With a live connection to a real minefield. :)

    Too many people prefer to do something they're comfortable with, and let their mind idle, rather than expand. .. and I say that as I'm reading Slashdot. Maybe I should go do something more constructive too. :)

Apostrophe's (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425984)

Abuse of apostrophe's make baby Je'su's cry.

Re:Apostrophe's (1)

Peter Mork (951443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426792)

I did have a lot of fun figuring out how to pronounce Je'su's, assuming the apostrophes denote full glottal stops: Hay-Sue-S. The final stop+sibilant sounds neat. Thanks!

CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (0, Redundant)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425990)

Repeat it as needed.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426066)

Repeating as needed, may reduce weight as part of a calorie controlled diet.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426102)

Repeat it as many times as you want to. People are still going to jump to conclusions anyway. They want easy to understand information like 'A makes B happen'. Yes, people are idiots, just accept it.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426182)

Correlation does not preclude causation, moron. That'd make no sense.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426256)

Repeat it as needed.

Don't worry, this is Slashdot. We got that covered.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (1)

Dues (786223) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426288)

I assume you are referring to the title, but it is pretty clear from tfa and even the writeup that the implication is NOT that TV itself causes fatness. The writeup even proposes that snacking more in front of the TV is possibly the cause.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426304)

Yes, but it is not NOT correlation either.

I couldn't find a link to any study. So I'll just let this pass as another poor 'study' about TV done by someone who doesn't understand what's needed to do a good study.

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426414)

Well, remember: We -only- use this phrase when we don't like the actual outcome of some research.
And as well all know, TV is rated much lower than computers on this site, so we should just blindly accept the judgement from this research.

Was my sarcasm noticable?

Re:CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426460)

Agreed. It's not the tv making them fat. It's the fat that makes them fat.

CAUSATION REQUIRES CORRELATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426672)

If you claim "X causes Y" and you don't get Y then either your study was invalid and didn't have X or your claim is wrong.

"Computers cause fat", your study shows kids with a computer in the room NOT getting fat compared to another population, either the computer was a cardboard box or "Computers cause fat" was wrong.

a TV instructs you to snack every 5 minutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426006)

they're called commercials, DUH!!!

"Active"? (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426012)

One theory is that it's common to have a snack in front of the TV, while a computer requires a more active user, for example when chatting or playing games.

Yeah, because sitting there and typing or moving the mouse is huge amounts of activity! I can eat a bag of M&Ms and drink coke while coding, and I'm sure there are plenty who can scoff pizza, coke and crisps without a problem!

You've got to lick your fingers well to make sure that you don't leave a mess on your keyboard, but other than that the computer "activity" isn't that much of an obstacle for eating.

Re:"Active"? (1)

thehostiles (1659283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426060)

true, but taking your hands off the keys to eat requires a bit of mental effort if you're doing something engaging.

the idea is that it's to do with the lack of eating because you're preoccupied, not because computer use requires actual effort. ...unless you're on a pornographic website.

Re:"Active"? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426486)

No, most people eat without even noticing.

*WARNING PERSONAL ACECDOTE* not being used to indicate a data point.

One of the things I made a serious conscious effort to change to lower my caloric intake was to not eat in front of the computer. I dont' spend a lot of time just sitting in front of thet tyube.

Then somethign happened. I found myself watching more TV because I would snack while watching TV. That is how bad the human brain drives peopel to eat, even when there is plenty of food.

Before dieting I spent so little time in front of the TV, it never even occurred to me to limit myself during that time.After many years of no pay for TV, I got satellite. I seriously wonder if my decision to do so was actually motivated in my brain knowing I eat more during TV watching. I have since stopped snacking in front of the TV or computer. I will occasional eat lunch at the computer while working. But only a 6" ham with no cheese, mayo, vinegar and oil from Subway.

Re:"Active"? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426076)

I can eat a bag of M&Ms and drink coke while coding, and I'm sure there are plenty who can scoff pizza, coke and crisps without a problem!

You've got to lick your fingers well to make sure that you don't leave a mess on your keyboard, but other than that the computer "activity" isn't that much of an obstacle for eating.

That may be true while coding, but if you're playing an online game, taking your hands off the keyboard for even a few second means you could lose*. In my experience, most people don't like to lose.

* By lose, I mean have your character die, such as in an MMORPG or FPS.

Re:"Active"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426624)

taking your hands off the keyboard for even a few second means you could lose*.

If you're not that good anyways you can just eat and drink while waiting to respawn. Watching killcam on MW2 gives you a few seconds to drink/eat something.

Re:"Active"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426080)

But well, as you said, you code. That IS activity. An activity that claims more energy than semi-sleeping in the couch. It's not things we think of, but they matter none the less.

Re:"Active"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426152)

That it is not impossible to eat while on the computer doesn't mean that a more interactive experience is a deterrent to snacking and decreases the probability to become overweight. Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Re:"Active"? (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426248)

I could see Computers have having three distinct benefits over TV.

1) Moving the mouse and typing is more active then moving your thumb to change channels

2) Playing video games is more physically involved then watching TV. I care about how my character does so my body reacts in a similar manner as though I were getting exercise; heart racing, mild sweating, muscles tightening, etc... Albeit this isn't on the same level as if I were outside playing ball, but I still get a bit more of a workout then if I was watching something mildly or not particularly interesting on TV.

3) When I am eating or drinking while playing video games; I see computer interaction more engaging and thus kind of like putting down your fork between bites during a meal. You eat slower and digest what's eaten better. When watching TV it's easy to have one hand on the remote while the other is in a bag of chips or popcorn.

Of course this is my own opinion and based on my own experiences. I've only heard that putting your fork down between bites is good for loosing weight, I don't have a reference.

Re:"Active"? (2, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426298)

You've got to lick your fingers well to make sure that you don't leave a mess on your keyboard, but other than that the computer "activity" isn't that much of an obstacle for eating.

Which is exactly why most coders don't eat and code at the same time. Yes, some do, but most have learned it's just not worth it for obvious reasons.

And I can agree that gaming on a PC does make one think less of food and eat less. I found myself eating less playing games than even not playing games.

Re:"Active"? (1)

TheStatsMan (1763322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426338)

Ever try to eat something while playing WoW? There are limited opportunities to remove your hands from the keys and mouse when playing games at a PC. This significantly cuts down on overall snacking time.

Re:"Active"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426434)

thats why you roll hunter or warlock

Re:"Active"? (4, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426350)

Yeah, but not to the extent that TV allows.

I'm nibbling on a snack right now, but I don't feel the "need" to eat all the time in front of a computer, because most of the time my hands are busy typing.

When I watched commercial TV, I tended to feel like I had to have something to do, and the TV stations set up time every (what is it now, ten minutes) where I can go get food. I'd graze almost constantly, because my hands were free. When I surf the Web, I will occasionally snack, but not nearly as often. Oddly enough, I still have a small snack in the evening around 8PM, which used to be the "sit down in front of the TV" time, and I think that snack is a carryover from that. But the snack is a lot smaller than it was when we had a TV (and I still watch recorded shows on the computer, but I keep my hands busy with my smartphone instead of food).

If commercials didn't exist, or were only run between shows rather than every few minutes, I don't think we'd eat as much either. Commercial break comes on, we go off and put together some food. Break is only 2-3 minutes long (or is it still that short?) so you can't really prepare anything even vaguely healthy. You go for prepared comfort foods that can be eaten easily.

I realize this is one person's anecdote, and this may only apply to me, but I strongly suspect that several important factors differentiate TV from computers,
  - TV is an almost completely passive activity, whereas the computer engages you and distracts you from thoughts of food.
  - With TV, your hands are completely or almost completely free so you can easily stuff food continuously, with a computer you might reach out to grab a handful of snack every few minutes.
  - Good-looking foods are shown to you every ten minutes or so on the TV, with enforced breaks to allow you the opportunity to get food. On a computer, you largely set your own breaks and people tend to get up less to get food. And when they do, there's no absolute rush to get back and beat the commercials so you might even get healthier foods.

If computing could be done while leaving the hands and mouth completely free, I'd suspect people would start munching more.

I'm not saying that everyone who watches TV is constantly stuffing their maw with junk food, or that computer users constantly starve themselves, but I think the differences between the activities can lead to very different eating behaviors.

And don't dismiss the calories burned by typing. :)

Re:"Active"? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426378)

Bah, keyboards are cheap. For 5 bucks I can get a new one. Probably less time and effort then trying to keep this one clean~

Re:"Active"? (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426570)

If nothing else - it slows down your eating.

Eating too fast is one of top reasons Obesity occurs. Your stomach takes a while to send the "I'm full" signal to your brain. Something like 8 minutes, I think. So when you slam down a bunch of food and then think "I'm full" you end up over-eating, more than your stomach can handle. So your body turns it to fat.

Re:"Active"? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426680)

But when you code, you don't have a voice suddenly shouting "hmmmmm, I would like some veeeery fat and cheesy pizza! Yummy !"

Re:"Active"? (1)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426692)

! I can eat a bag of M&Ms and drink coke while coding

Do you believe that is what most kids are doing in front of their computer?

How well do you do circle-strafing in a FPS with opponents trying to kill you while snacking? What does your char do while you are going to get that snack?

The premise seems reasonable. A child playing a game is both more involved (distracted from snacking), and less able (hands are busy), as a generality, than one on a couch watching TV.

Re:"Active"? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426724)

"can", yes. But do most people do so?

I only eat breakfast in front of my computer. However, when I'm watching TV, I almost always have something to eat either in my hand or nearby.

Re:"Active"? (1)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426812)

Not only that, but it's possible to watch TV while doing something else -- cleaning, say, or even running on a treadmill*. When you're on the computer, you're tethered to the keyboard and your butt doesn't leave the chair, sometimes for hours at a stretch. When I was a gamer, I gained 15 lbs. I thank EA for ruining Dark Age of Camelot so thoroughly that I was able to give it up without any regrets.

*Who was the wit who said "An MMORPG is a treadmill that makes you fatter"?

No obstacle to eating... (1)

knuckledraegger (910257) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426838)

I wrap the mouse and keyboard in Saran wrap during use and toss them in the dishwasher every now and then...

Busy hands (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426028)

One on my cock, one on the noose.

I'm writing a book (3, Funny)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426052)

"Gaming your way to weightloss!"

It works, I swear! I remember one particular weekend where I lost 5lbs working through raid encounters in Everquest 1. Who needs food when lewt is raining from the sky!

They both make you sit on your ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426086)

... so the difference must be pretty insignificant - if all the other conditions are the same.

thinking calories (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426092)

While shoving a mouse around and typing does not seem like significant exercise, I think there's a bigger energy expenditure in interactive thought. Zoning out at the television does not engage many areas of the brain, but chatting with friends or deciding where to browse next takes a bit more power. Brain activity burns calories. I've personally noticed that my head warms up more when I'm thinking, especially if the work or play is cerebral or there's a time pressure involved. It would be very cool to see a study on just how different these tasks are, with brain activity monitored objectively.

Re:thinking calories (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426192)

I've personally noticed that my head warms up more when I'm thinking

Moss, is that you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD95BLpEUcE [youtube.com]

Re:thinking calories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426274)

Although this is an intuitive and oft-repeated view, I believe the science shows that while thinking makes people feel hungry, the additional brain activity doesn't actually burn many calories at all - so food consumed might go up instead.

Re:thinking calories (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426500)

Energy consumption by the brain is 230-247 calories, based on 17 calories/gram and human brain sizes of 1,350-1,450 grams. During periods of peak performance, adults increase that energy consumption by up to 50%, according to psychology lecturer Mark Moss, of the University of Northumbria. (ask google for source).

Add to that some vigorous asymmetric limb exercises that are more frequent in computer users, coupled with an increased in protein synthesis and we're probably a fair bit over hundred calories ahead of the TV user.

Re:thinking calories (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426872)

The 4th comment here is interesting :
http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-42053.html [physicsforums.com]

Here is some information about the body consumption (in kcal) for many activities :
Sleeping 70
Lying quietly 80
Sitting 100
Standing at ease 110
Conversation 110
Strolling 140
Driving a car 140
Playing violin or piano 140
Hiking, 4 mph 350 407
Swimming 500 582
Long-distance running 900
Sprinting 1400

So if we say piano requires the same amount of energy as coding (I would say it requires less mental effort as people develop automatisms at it) it is 40% more consuming that being a couch potato sitting in front of a TV, but still a far cry from running or even hiking. Similar however to walking quietly, which is what my doctor recommends me to do as a minimal exercise to not get unhealthily fat.

It is obvious (5, Funny)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426110)

All the free porn is on the internet, that is a calorie burn when done properly.

Re:It is obvious (2, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426326)

That's my diet plan. And I'm 5'9" and 120 lbs. It must work! Maybe I should convince girls to join me?

Re:It is obvious (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426554)

That might be part of the second study.

The one which tests the effect on adults.

Not only that I bet many people loose weight... (2, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426122)

I found that I get caught up in the computer and what I'm working on and forget to stop and eat. When I get really focused on my work I'll forget to stop and eat and when I'm playing a new game I may only eat once a day for the first weekend.

Re:Not only that I bet many people loose weight... (5, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426176)

I found that I get caught up in the computer and what I'm working on and forget to stop and eat. When I get really focused on my work I'll forget to stop and eat and when I'm playing a new game I may only eat once a day for the first weekend.

A CIV player.

computers vs tv (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426166)

I'll take a computer over a tv any day of the week.

As far as why they don't make you fat compared to watching tv, well the answer is obvious - pr0n and its associated activity burns calories...

Perhaps kids... (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426170)

... but in my case, beer makes me fatter and fatter...
I can't play any games without my beer! :(

So all thoses kids won't become fat until they turn 18 / 21...

How about... (1)

Gi0 (773404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426202)

...tv tuners on pcs? What happens then? Who funds those studies,geeez!

So.... Watch TV while you use the computer? (1)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426230)

If you have no where to sit while you watch tv its pretty hard to eat. If you use the computer while you watch tv it is pretty hard to eat. And if you goto the gym and run on a treadmill while you watch tv... I hope whoever commissioned this study paid with our tax money.

What about food commercials? (4, Insightful)

CyberSlugGump (609485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426234)

How many ads for fast food, soft drinks, candy bar, restaurants, etc. do you see during an hour of watching TV versus during an hour of using the computer? Food cues might play a strong role, too.

Re:What about food commercials? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426528)

Not to mention opportunity. Start a commercial break with a picture some luscious food item, and your audience will use the rest of the commercial break checking out the fridge to see what is available to eat during the next ten minutes of programming. At the end of the commercial break, they will grab whatever is the most prepared and easiest to eat in front of the TV and rush back. Next commercial, repeat.

That can be as many as 4 snacks per hour (they still only do 4 5-minute breaks an hour, right?).

If you don't choose your foods really wisely, you could easily end up eating several hundred calories during a single hour of television.

Computers don't generally offer that opportunity. The distraction is continuous, since by and large you have control of the experience.

We already knew that geeks are skinny... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426240)

The real news is that this is not because of lack of exercise, but because of lack of food.

IS there a link to the study? (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426280)

Previous studies showed that the TV made no difference at all. Kids who weren't active in the house, where no more active when they went outside.

The studies I have read based on TV obesity all showed that TV was not the cause, but just something people who were inactive happened to do.
Why the child was inactive turns out to be a number of other reasons. depression, stress, bad house hold habits. and so on.

What TV does seem to do is make people think they need to eat, vie food commercials.

Sadly, there are surprisingly few good* studies that try to tease apart the variables in TV watching. I would like to read the detail in this study.
How were the children selected? What where there daily activities before the study? Was the study done at a time of year that coincide with better weather? How where controls done? was diet monitored?

The reason given seems a little thin, since eating at the computer is as easy as the TV. OF course, there could be a cultural reason for not eating while on the computer.

Quite frankly, I would be for the removing of food commercials. It would never happen, but I would wager that after a year the obesity problem would start to slow down, if not stop.

*lots of bad studies.

Re:IS there a link to the study? (4, Informative)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426846)

There is no 'study'. These 'results' are from a survey of primary school children conducted in one municipality by a school nurse. No scientists or researchers were involved. There is no empirical data at all. No experiments were conducted. More than likely the 'study' consists of anecdotal evidence such as; TV in room, check...fat child, check...TV caused fat child.

Might have phrased that differently (3, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426332)

directly affected by placing a TV in the child's room

Immediate mental image: the child's weight changing instantly as the TV comes and goes.

Correction: *boring* TV makes people fat (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426368)

Most TV programmes just aren't that engaging. As a consequence people find other, more interesting, things to do while the TV provides a background. The same cannot be said of video games, which generally don't leave any hands free for stuffing garbage down your neck (and would result in "death" or points-loss for losing concentration if you took time off to try it).

What would be interesting is whether it's the programmes or the advertisements that make people (and I doubt that it's limited to just children) fill up on garbage.

Re:Correction: *boring* TV makes people fat (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426616)

I think even an exciting TV show would allow for snacking pretty easily. Grab handy foods during the commercials, and not matter how exciting the show your hands and mouth are still free while watching. You have an enforced break (commercial) to get food, and a continuous opportunity to consume it.

TV and food just go together. You have sufficient facilities free to eat continuously when watching TV (hands, mouth). You do not when on the computer. At best, all your surfing is done with the mouse and you have one hand free. But there will always be the need to get on the keyboard. So even if you had continuous flows of food provided to you, you'd tend to eat far less in front of a computer.

Obviously it's the advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426440)

It's so obvious why. The TV blasts you with ads for junk food every ten minutes. Ads the internet are just not as effective at getting you to eat crap.

Typing keeps... (1)

sophomoric (1715780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426452)

Typing keeps your hands busy.

Re:Typing keeps... (1)

sophomoric (1715780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426478)

Typing keeps your hands busy.

...and masturbation.

can we get a real study ? (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426476)

instead of the google translation of a 2 paragraphs-long article ?

Calories burned during brain activity (1)

ehud42 (314607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426488)

An interesting way to validate this study would be a lab controlled experiment where people are connected to a calorie consumption monitor while either watching tv (track "entertainment" vs "educational" programming), using a computer (track "working - coding, writing docs, etc." vs "gaming" vs "reading"), or reading (track "news paper" vs "fictional novel").

Brains use a fair bit of calories thinking and processing information. Should be easy enough to prove (or disprove) that watching TV requires fewer calories.

What you eat while performing these activities probably has a greater impact on your weight - which is what the article is probably referring to. I'd read it, but I'm trying to lose weight and think that posting consumes more calories then reading :-)

The computer's what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426532)

Apostrophe's aren't for plural's.

Sounds simple enough to me (1)

valadaar (1667093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426536)

When I'm bored, I am more likely to eat. When I'm wasting enemies in Team Fortress 2 (ok, being wasted, but hey), the last thing I'm going to do is get up and get a snack.

food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426546)

I'm pretty sure that eating too much food makes kids fat.

Any sedentary activity... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426630)

... can make you fat if you do too much of it, moderation and monitoring of what you eat vs the energy you expend is what counts.

You can lose weight in marathon gaming sessions, I know I've lost a few pounds over weekends with huge long games of Civ4 or Galciv 2.

jobs was right (1)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426634)

You watch television to turn your brain off
and you work on your computer
when you want to turn your brain on.
(Steve Jobs, Macworld, Feb 2004)

Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31426648)

That article has got to be the worse source ever. Around about 500 words, referencing 'a study' as it's only sorce. No link to the abstract of the study, or any mention of the journal it was published in, or the authors. And yet it makes the front page of slashdot?

Eating (1)

junkgoof (607894) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426832)

Snacking works better when you are 10 feet from a TV with your hands empty then when you are over your keyboard mousing and typing.

who can eat when (1)

goffster (1104287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31426882)

You are busy fragging with both hands ?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>