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Video Game Playing Increases Food Intake In Teens

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the om-nom-nom dept.

Medicine 99

An anonymous reader writes "There have been plenty of anecdotal associations between gaming and obesity. Now Canadian and Danish researchers have tested the hypothesis that video game playing leads to increased spontaneous food intake; a true test of causation vs. correlation. Their conclusion? 'A single session of video game play in healthy male adolescents is associated with an increased food intake, regardless of appetite sensations (abstract).'"

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Interesting... (5, Interesting)

arunce (1934350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36188954)

is that when I was young I didn't eat anything and had my parents yelling at me to eat something while playing.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36188988)

Ditto. Playing videogames long enough has made me lazy to the point that I'd rather wait several hours until dinner than stop playing, get up and get something myself.

Re:Interesting... (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189016)

Exactly. When I was young, my parents never let me play before having lunch, so I used to eat as less as possible, so that I could back to Prince of Persia (any of you remember this?) asap.

Re:Interesting... (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189064)

You have an anecdote, they have data. There is a difference.

Re:Interesting... (2, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189110)

Not by much, in this case. The researchers collected a very small collection of similar anecdotes. They have 22 subjects, apparently going through a single experimental cycle (control and test each, I think). There is no indication of what kind of games were played, or what long-term effects might be. The results apply only to a single session of gaming, and not to habitual gamers. The headline is crap as usual, and the study doesn't really involve correlation vs. causation at all.

Re:Interesting... (5, Insightful)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189254)

The researchers collected a very small collection of similar anecdotes

No, they conducted a scientific randomized crossover study where they actually applied video game playing as a controlled intervention and measured caloric intake. That's very different from collecting 22 slashdot posts of "OMG I played games and got fat". As to "very small" -- the results for the two experimental runs were significant at P-values of 0.01 and 0.05; it's pretty clear-cut.

There is no indication of what kind of games were played

"The video game FIFA 09, a soccer video game played on Xbox 360 (Microsoft, Redmond, WA), was selected on the basis that the game is easy to learn, is popular, and can be played in 1 h." (p. 2 of the paper).

or what long-term effects might be

No, because that's not what they were studying. You can't cover everything in a single paper.

The results apply only to a single session of gaming, and not to habitual gamers.

Sure. This is an 8-page report on a single experiment. It's not a review paper. At some point there will be enough data from various studies to synthesize a systematic review, but someone has to publish the data from the individual experiments first!

The headline is crap as usual

No, the headline is consistent with the conclusion of the paper. Playing the video game did indeed increase the food intake of the subjects.

the study doesn't really involve correlation vs. causation at all.

True, the issue of correlation vs. causation is not discussed in the study, presumably because it's fairly well-known that a crossover randomized controlled intervention study like this is precisely what you do to establish causation (since there's already plenty of data on correlation out there). But perhaps you have some comments on deficiencies in the experimental design?

Re:Interesting... (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189504)

Being too lazy to read the original paper.
Did they attempt to measure calorific expenditure?
Calories burned when playing xbox are higher than that when sitting doing nothing.

Re:Interesting... (1)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189604)

Being too lazy to read the original paper.

Can't really blame you in this case -- TFA doesn't seem to give the title, journal, or the names of any of the institutions or researchers involved! I had to do some googling to track it down... and even then I don't know if it's open access (I'm reading from a university network with lots of big juicy e-journal subscriptions).

Did they attempt to measure calorific expenditure?
Calories burned when playing xbox are higher than that when sitting doing nothing.

Yes, that's actually mentioned in the press release too -- "Energy expenditure was 21 kcal/h higher during video game play than during the resting condition. However, subjects ate 80 more kilocalories after playing the video games than they did after the control period. This resulted in a net positive energy of 163 kcal during the entire day when video games were played compared with when subjects rested, despite the fact that the subjects reported similar appetite ratings during these periods."

Oh, and to save anyone else the legwork of tracking it down: Video game playing increases food intake in adolescents: a randomized crossover study. Jean-Philippe Chaput, Trine Visby, Signe Nyby, Lars Klingenberg, Nikolaj T Gregersen, Angelo Tremblay, Arne Astrup, and Anders Sjödin. Am J Clin Nutr, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.008680, First published ahead of print April 13, 2011.

Re:Interesting... (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190570)

80 kcal - (21 kcal/h * 1h) = 163 kcal? Where is the extra 104 kcal coming from?

Re:Interesting... (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193342)

This confused me as well. I'm also not convinced "resting" is an appropriate control. Perhaps reading or TV or cards or anything using the brain results in varying glucose levels & increased consumption.

Worthy of further study, certainly.

Re:Interesting... (1)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193658)

Indeed.
Some 'similar' activity would be an appropriate control.
Perhaps knitting, or building a lego fort.

Re:Interesting... (1)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36196358)

Yes, TFA doesn't make that clear and I had to read the paper to resolve it: it turns out that the 80 kcal is consumed in the lunch immediately after the test condition, and the rest is excess food consumed over the remainder of the day. Which is pretty interesting -- even hours later the game affects food consumption.

Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189634)

That's not a scientific study. It's an excuse for one. WHY the fuck are you defending it? Most doctors won't even bother looking further than that before telling you it can't be related to the general population.

I too have anecdotal evidence. Mine suggests that your intake can increase or decrease and because you are distracted and aren't paying as much attention you're not going to make the best choices. I've over-eaten while gaming when I was a teenager. I've also forgotten to eat all day until dinner time. One infamous session of Bard's Tale back in the early 90s lasted over 20 hours as my friend and I pushed on to finish the game. At dinner time we realised we hadn't eaten and made a pizza (which almost burnt because we were distracted). But on the whole more often than not I've overeaten sitting at a computer.

Re:Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (3, Informative)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189688)

Sample size of 22 is only meaningless if you know nothing about statistical analysis. Say I have 22 people and 12 of them got fatter then the article is meaningless since you're outside your confidence interval (google those words before your next post). But if all 22 people got fat then it's perfectly reasonable sample size to conclude the sample is representative of the population. Just an example, the statistical analysis is in the study which I'm sure you didn't bother digging up to read before slagging.

Any doctor who rejects an study that is significant to P values of 0.05 because of a sample size is an idiot who also needs to take a statistics course.

Re:Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191052)

But if all 22 people got fat then it's perfectly reasonable sample size IF the sample is representative of the population.

FTFY.

22 people would be a horrible sample if you selected them from a group of, say, diabetes patients. So unless we know what sort of people were included in the study, it's perfectly valid to question the conclusion based on the sample size and demographics.

Re:Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36197812)

Now if only this was had a completely random selection of the population. .... Oh wait it is. Go read the abstract, the study was designed ground up to meet the requirements for clinical studies and registered with the government. Also given the large number of bloodtests performed in a trial such as this, commonalities that would trigger the sample to all have the same characteristics would have been evident. There weren't any.

It's only perfectly valid to question the sample size if you have reason to, and until you've actually read more than the slashdot summary you have no reason to.

Re:Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193264)

You should probably retake a statistic course too because you don't actually understand what p-value is.
p-value says that it's really unprobable that randomness was the cause of the observation. It says nothing about the population quality.

Let me extend a bit your way of reasoning to show you in what way it is biased. Say we take six loaded dices with an advantage for the three. We launch them one hundred times.
We will find a lot more three than any other numbers and will have a really low p-value.
The low p-value means that it's really improbable that these huge number of three was caused by randomness. Note that this could have happen with fair dices. It's just really unprobable.
Now, what you are saying based on that is : Look, all dices have an advantage for the three. This study shows it and it has a low p-value.
In fact, it's just a population bias and it's the same for this study. 22 people is, if a common one, a slightly small sample to jump to conclusion.

Re:Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (2)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189744)

I don't really know what your problem with the sample size is. Here's the relevant part of the statistical discussion from the paper:

The power calculation analysis showed that data from 22 subjects gave us a power (1 - beta) of 0.9, which was sufficient to show changes in energy intake as low as 5%, with an a of 0.05 (repeated-measures analysis of variance; ANOVA). Before the statistical analysis was conducted, all data were tested for normality by using the Shapiro-Wilk W test and variance homogeneity. A repeated-measures ANOVA was conducted on the means of all variables. Analyses of glucose and hormonal data were based on repeated-measures ANOVA, including the factors “condition” (video game playing compared with resting) and “time” (7 time points). Pairwise comparisons of single time point values were performed by using a paired Student’s t test. Correlation analyses were used to explore the relation between ad libitum energy intake and different variables. Effect sizes were examined by using Cohen’s d method, reflecting the magnitude of the difference between groups in SD units.

So it looks to me as though 22 is sufficient for the power required here. If you've got a specific problem with the statistical techniques employed, could you walk me through it please? I am a scientist who uses statistics rather than a full-time statistician, so I accept that I might have missed something here.

...it can't be related to the general population.

They're fairly upfront about the fact that the test subjects were all teenage males. Obviously, yes, you'd want to replicate it with other sex and age groups, but you have to start somewhere.

Re:Sample size of 22??? MEANINGLESS (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192138)

That's not a scientific study. It's an excuse for one.

IOW, "The facts don't fit my preferences for the way the world should work, and therefore the facts must be ignored."

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189760)

Guys from my privately-funded lab are soon to publish a study which purports to show a correlation between H2O and wetness. Stay tuned folks.

captcha: carefree

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189858)

"No, the headline is consistent with the conclusion of the paper. Playing the video game did indeed increase the food intake of the subjects."

Tell me, does the paper say whether or not snacks were provided for the test subjects?

I don't know about you, but if snacks are put in front of me while I'm doing anything that isn't overly strenous (playing a game, watching a movie, listening to music, just watching TV, talking with friends, etc) then I'm likely going to eat some. That right there is an "increase" in calorie intake.

On the other hand, I won't bother bringing snacks to a controlled experiment where I'm brought in to play a game.

Re:Interesting... (1)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189934)

Tell me, does the paper say whether or not snacks were provided for the test subjects?

It spends about a page going into excruciating detail about exactly what they were fed at what points and under what conditions (unsurprising since it's pretty central to the study!). But in short: no snacks. They turned up in the morning in a fasting state, were fed a standard sized breakfast, experienced the experimental condition (sitting in a chair, or sitting in a chair playing on an Xbox), and were given an ad libitum (i.e. eat as much as you like) lunch. Xbox players ate more, and the increase was not cancelled out by the extra calories expended playing.

Re:Interesting... (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190394)

Was there a set time for the lunch, with no option to trade lunch time for extra game time? In my experience, with very immersive games, many players gladly skip food in order to keep playing.

Also, have they compared the increased energy usage of brainy activity to simply sitting about? It's quite likely that any kind of physical or mental exercise increases food intake, simply because you burn more energy.

Re:Interesting... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192008)

Right so they take a very specific set of circumstances and show that in those circumstances among a small (and most likely far from random) sample set that those who played video games at more than those who sat arround doign nothing.

Then that gets generalised to "A single session of video game play in healthy male adolescents is associated with an increased food intake, regardless of appetite sensations. " which the media translates to "Video Game playing increases food intake in teens". Those are very bold general statements to make from a study that like many studies leaves more questions than answers. Notablly:

1: the duration of game playing and the time of food intake was fixed. While this may be representive of the situation in some families it's certainly not the situation everywhere. What difference does it make if the length of the activity is varied? What difference does it make if they have free access to food DURING the activity as well as after it. I know I tend to eat a LOT when i'm hanging arround doing nothing.
2: the test was with one specific game, there are many different intensities of game which one could reasonablly expect to have different impacts.
3: there was no comparision with substitute activities only with sitting arround doing nothing. The tests were also all proceeded by sitting arround doing nothing.
4: the measure was done with a rather early lunch, i'd think that apart from weekends most teenagers would be doing their game playing either between school and tea or after tea in the evening.
5: they were given an all you can eat lunch immediately after playing, does the impact happen only if play is immediately before free access to food or does it hang arround?

Re:Interesting... (2)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191674)

Interesting. They picked a game that could be completed in what I would consider a short amount of time. That probably makes the difference.

I know its anecdotal, but I find that games that have a storyline and keep you occupied for hours tend to inhibit me from eating. In fact, there have been days that I get a headache from playing, and then realize that I haven't eaten all day.

Game choice probably does matter, but it is still interesting for the tons of people who play games like FIFA.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Chili-71 (768964) | more than 3 years ago | (#36216216)

Try eating anything while playing a FPS game - it ain't goin' happen. Not if you intend on staying alive during the game. And the time between rounds is so short you don't have time to scarf down anything. If they only sampled one game (FIFA09 as stated) then the study is flawed because the base was not large enough to determine any valid results.

Re:Interesting... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194220)

Once again, we've someone with a poor grasp of basic and fundamental statistics making comments without reading the published paper. Well done. You are an idiot.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189258)

Further research has noted an increase in beer consumption while watching sports with their mates.
Further grants are being requested to determine if it is a causation effect.

Re:Interesting... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189304)

"You have an anecdote, they have data. There is a difference."

I imagine it depends on the game you are playing IMHO.

Re:Interesting... (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189560)

How dare you use logic on people like that!

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36190248)

They have funding, he doesn't. That's your difference.

If they don't confirm the biases of those funding them, they lose their funding and their jobs.

"Science" is a joke these days.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189092)

I can confirm this. I started to play a MMORPG and lost much weight. I simply don't have time to go get food. I also eat only 1 time a day (lunch) and consume some sweets in the afternoon.

Re:Interesting... (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189122)

I had basically the same experience. Many a marathon gaming session ended with me realizing I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. My friends seemed to have similar experiences. Hell, it still happened when I played co-op games with them in college.

Re:Interesting... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189248)

I thought exactly the same thing when I read this. Even recently whenever I get a new game, I often miss my normal dinner time by a couple of hours before I get a grip and hit "pause". I used to go a lot longer without realising I hadn't eaten when I was younger.

Also, I've never been fat, despite being a heavy computer user all my life. I started gaining weight in my mid twenties, but I noticed and started correcting my diet, as well as doing a bit of walking, which led onto more serious exercise. I'm in better shape at 27 than I've ever been.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189624)

I think the basic difference lies in immediate the availability of food. Since the experiment was conducted in controlled conditions there was probably a tray of food with known caloric value ready.

Re:Interesting... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189778)

For me it would also depend on the type of food. I learned that it was bad to get food in your computer when I was around 5. Doesn't apply so much for desktops since the keyboards are not integrated into the machine, but still applies for laptops..

Re:Interesting... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193408)

I find that the longer I wait to eat, the hungrier I get, so the more I'm likely to eat. I'll eat less overall if I don't let myself get that hungry.

I've experienced exactly the same thing you and GP have, it's just that at least for me, this does result in an increased food intake, since the game distracted me from how hungry I actually was.

Re:Interesting... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193890)

Ah, I trend to find the opposite. If I don't eat in the morning, I won't be that hungry at lunch time. These days I have a good habit of 3 square meals and 2 or 3 healthy snacks of dried fruit and nuts. I figured out the reason I wasn't getting "hungry" when I didn't eat in the morning was that when I did eat, I was eatinf crap that gave me a sugar crash a few hours after eating, it's called "reactive hypoglycemia". When I eat low GI foods, I don't get hungry in the same way, and I feel much more alert and energetic.

Re:Interesting... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193906)

Tend*, eating* (damn touch screen)

Re:Interesting... (1)

Yev000 (985549) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189432)

Yep, I never eat when I play. Some times I only notice I'm hungry when I get cold after hours playing... That sounds pretty sad doesent it?

Re:Interesting... (2)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191002)

I had the same problem. There are days where I simply "forgot" to eat until late afternoon or evening.

Except keep in mind those food breaks would usually involve something not very healthy, like potato chips or a box of something microwaveable. Anything that I could make quickly, so I could return to playing. Even though there were fewer food breaks, I probably developed poor eating habits as a result.

Re:Interesting... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191320)

Haha same here.

Yeah, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36188956)

In other news: The sun is hot, water is wet, LA is smoggy, Oregon is rainy, girlfriend still non-existant.

Oblitory Simpsons Quote. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36188958)

Homer entering "The Vast Waistband", a clothing store.

      Homer: I'm looking for something loose and billowy, something
                    comfortable for my first day of work.
Salesman: Work, huh? Let me guess. Computer programmer, computer
                    magazine columnist, something with computers?
      Homer: Well, I use a computer.
Salesman: [quietly, to self] Yeah, what's the connection? Must be the
                    non-stop sitting and snacking.
                      [more audibly] Well, sir, many of our clients find pants
                    confining, so we offer a range of alternatives for the ample
                    gentleman: ponchos, muumuus, capes, jumpsuits, unisheets,
                    muslim body rolls, academic and judicial robes --
      Homer: I don't want to look like a weirdo. I'll just go with a
                    muumuu.

Careful Training (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36188970)

We've been conditioned by video games to run around avoiding ghosts, listening to techno, eating large quantities of fruit. :V

Now my brilliant insight (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189032)

If they need some comfort food -- aka, they just got dominated by me in the game -- they should be taking something healthy. My semen, for example.

MOD UP (0)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189196)

I would seriously mod this shit up if I had some fucking mod points Hats off to you sir Inb4 -1 Troll I'm not trollin, you's trollin ... MODS

BOOM! (1)

Y2KDragon (525979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189888)

Headshot.

I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189046)

When I sit down to play something like Civ at 7ish in the morning, before I know it, it's 9 PM and I'm wondering why I'm hungry!

Re:I call bullshit (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189158)

Welp, that proves it! They may have carefully collated data taken under controlled conditions with statistically significant results, but here we have the testimony of an anonymous coward on an internet forum. Please, AC, leave your address below so they can mail you the Nobel.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189250)

They only used twenty-two people and it was only a single gaming session. It's slightly better than a single anecdote, sure, but not by a whole lot.

Video Gaming and Video Gaming (1)

darkfeline (1890882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189096)

I'm not sure how exactly this experiment was set up, but I'm sure they've mistaken "video gaming" for video gaming. In the latter case, people starve (the handful of obsessive Asian MMORPG player deaths, anyone?)

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (5, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189212)

I consider myself a gamer, and I don't even know what you mean. What is the difference between video gaming with and without scare quotes?

At any rate, their finding was that once you finish gaming, you eat more. As in, if Bob spends some hours gaming, and Dave spends those same hours reading, and then they both go get lunch, Bob will eat substantially more than Dave, all other things being equal. (And yes, they accounted for the marginally higher number of calories burned by gaming as compared to resting -- the difference is only 20 Calories/hour, before you go trying to plan an exercise regimen around it.)

My guess? Playing a game tricks your brain into thinking you're being more active than you are, and so afterwards your brain subconsciously instructs you to eat additional calories to make up for that activity. If I go jog a mile around town, I'll eat more afterwards. If I "jog" a mile around Azeroth, my brain will still tell me to eat more, even though I don't need to.

Of course, my theory is predicated on these results being from an action game (which may not be the case; the full text of the article is behind a paywall). If they were playing Civ5, then I have no idea why they'd be more hungry afterwards.

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189270)

Of course, my theory is predicated on these results being from an action game (which may not be the case; the full text of the article is behind a paywall). If they were playing Civ5, then I have no idea why they'd be more hungry afterwards.

Well, if they have been playing Civ5 (and if that is anything like the previous Civs), then they've been walking around and toiling with pickaxes for possibly hundreds of years. That sure should work up an appetite too.

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (2)

pnot (96038) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189966)

The game was FIFA 09, which is consistent with your theory -- personally I find football exhausting. Would be interesting to compare with a more sedentary-themed game; they don't consider this aspect, and just selected FIFA 09 because "the game is easy to learn, is popular, and can be played in 1 h".

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (1)

WildBlueYonder (1714974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192422)

The idea that the brain is instructing your body to increase caloric intake in response to visual stimuli of exercise is intriguing. I hope they follow this up with a study comparing reading a neutral topic (the control), playing a soccer game, watching a soccer game, and then less active tv and video game media. Say playing Civilization and watching a romantic comedy.

If the grandparent's hypothesis is correct than playing the soccer video game and watching a soccer game would both cause increased caloric intake, while the other videogame and television show wouldn't.

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191278)

As someone who used to play Ikari Warriors for eight hours straight, my thoughts are that I think it has more to do with the brain consuming more energy under heavy processing. However, the food you already have eaten prior to playing still hasn't been fully digested yet. If gamers would just take a break now and then to allow for a nice mental recharge, they wouldn't be grabbing for the Cheetos as often.

Ikari Warriors? The Hell? (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192142)

Ikari Warriors for eight hours straight? Did I read that right?

I had that game as rental when I first got Nintendo, I'm talking the first day I got my Nintendo (I got it long after - in kid time measurement - other kids). I probably played it for MAYBE 45 mins for giving up - I'm a person that never could overcome "Nintendo Hard". But, even then I was more of an RPG (e.g. Ultima III, Dragon Warrior, arguably Simon's Quest) or a strategy (The Ancient Art of War, Populous) game.

Re:Ikari Warriors? The Hell? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193266)

Yup, eight hours straight with a friend back in grade school. The ABBA cheat provided unlimited continues.

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192086)

As in, if Bob spends some hours playing one particular game, and Dave spends those same hours sitting arround doing nothing, and then they both go get an all you can eat lunch, Bob will eat substantially more than Dave, all other things being equal.

There fixed it for you.

They then post a conclusion which extrapolates these very specific results to the general case.

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (2)

nohelix (1244378) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192548)

They did blood tests to monitor hormones and no increase in appetite inducing hormones was seen. Additionally participants didn't report being hungrier. This would imply that the brain is not actually signalling for higher caloric intake. However they comment that they did not check for satiation signals or stress-reward signals. They suggest that the 'mental stress' caused by playing the games is the cause. This stress should be the same regardless of the type of game played. They have seen similar increases in other studies with mentally strenuous activities such as arithmetic.

Re:Video Gaming and Video Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36193756)

Wouldn't this finding then only apply to people who eat more due to stress, or is eating more from stress caused by appetite inducing hormones? I know some people that eat less when under stress (myself included, as I may go one or two days without eating), so I'm not sure this finding can be applied to everyone.

Also, while I do believe that what they found is true, I think that there are various cases that they have not taken into account. Casual gaming, where an episode is limited to a small period of time like an hour, seems to increase food intake. But people who are addicted to video games will probably show the opposite, as they are more likely to neglect normal hunger (and various other biological) cues to appease their addiction. I remember a study where a chimpanzee starved to death because it had a button which triggered some neurotransmitter (I believe it was Endorphin) and neglected to eat because it was too distracted by its magic button. There have been countless other studies which showed similar results.

So while gaming (or any engaging brain activity) may increase caloric intake, there are a lot more factors to consider outside of a controlled environment. Their findings are valuable, but I think they're honestly going a bit for sensationalism here in order to make names for themselves.

Entertainment = Increased consumption (2)

Ifni (545998) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189172)

It happens at amusement parks, during sporting events, etc. It may not be universal across all forms of entertainment, but it is across many. Sports bars are a more egregious contributor to obesity than computer gaming is ever likely to be.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189194)

Computers, games consoles, televisions - all contribute to a sedentary lifestyle.

Eating more calories that you expend will contribute to obesity and sitting on your motionless arse will burn very few calories. It's not brain science. Or rocket surgery.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189334)

Yeah... but it seems to be too much for these researchers to grasp.

Either that or they are just fixated on their political agenda to the exclusion of all else.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190250)

Or your ignoring the point of the study while you make asinine comments. Video game playing doesn't just not burn (many) calories, it increases caloric intake, all else being equal. Thus, it from the perspective of obesity, it is less health to play video games than to count the dots on the ceiling. That's the point of the study.

The study did not talk about weight gain at all, and it's possible that in fact the video games players lost weight. It wasn't a part of the study and wasn't measured.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191934)

Well said. The parent poster did however say ""There have been plenty of anecdotal associations between gaming and obesity" so weight gain is relevant in the circumstances.

You should have used _you're_ rather than _your_ by the way. Good use of the word _asinine_ though - if slightly hyperbolous. 6/10.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189572)

Eating more calories that you expend will contribute to obesity and sitting on your motionless arse will burn very few calories. It's not brain science. Or rocket surgery.

TFA says that the observation in the study was that the subjects ate about 80 kcal more food after 1h of playing games compared to 1h of resting. This is despite the fact that the sensation of hunger was the same. It's a comparison of behavior after resting vs. after gaming, not a comparison of energy expenditure during the day when gaming vs. when doing something else.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36190048)

It happens at amusement parks, during sporting events, etc. It may not be universal across all forms of entertainment, but it is across many. Sports bars are a more egregious contributor to obesity than computer gaming is ever likely to be.

Well..have you looked at a sports bar (or any entertainment venue) menu? Deep Fried Cheese...chicken wings...burgers... Yup..nothing healthy here, except the salads (with useless iceberg lettuce mostly) and that's just a nod to the ladies. Oh..and don't forget the beer on tap.

But..you're right..entertainment contributes to obesity--why? You are sitting on your BUTT doing mostly nothing. My parents taught me to go outside and PLAY. I forgot that until I was 30-ish and had kids. Suddenly, I figured out I was 100lbs overweight; time to make a change. I tossed out my gaming consoles and computer games and took up the outside again. Now, the only games I play are board games--like Scrabble, Axis and Allies, Diplomacy, or cards (Poker, Canasta and Rummy are my favorites)--all of which requires human interaction.

My kids go outside and play. There is not a game console in the house and they actually prefer their kayaks to sitting behind some game console. When friends ask them to come over to play games, they actually invite them to go camping, Hiking, Fishing, Biking, Kayaking, or hunting--usually without much success. To my kids, all of these outdoor activities and more are the rule, rather than the exception. I don't force them to do anything, except go outside; it's up to them to decide what they want to do. Of course, kayaking and hunting is something we do as a group; same with camping; but everything else they do on their own. There is a creek bordering my property and my two kids can purely outfish (and probably outhunt) most adults; except maybe Kevin Van Dam [wikipedia.org] --but I'd put my 15 year old up against him in a minute. .

Probably to most of /. that makes me a neanderthal; I won't lose any sleep over it. When I leave IT in about 6 years, I'm buying a tackle shop that I know of down south where I'm going to move and that will be my way to make a living.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36190202)

Not quite sure on that. How about entertainment = desire for caffeinated sugar-laden beverages which induce hunger?

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191888)

Sports bars are a more egregious contributor to obesity than computer gaming is ever likely to be.

[[Citation Needed]]

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193818)

Sports bars are a more egregious contributor to obesity than computer gaming is ever likely to be.

[[Citation Needed]]

You don't need data when you're trashing a lifestyle that Slashdotters don't like. On the other hand, even the word of God himself wouldn't convince them that video games could possibly cause any problems.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36194274)

Sports bars are a more egregious contributor to obesity than computer gaming is ever likely to be.

[[Citation Needed]]

You don't need data when you're trashing a lifestyle that Slashdotters don't like. On the other hand, even the word of God himself wouldn't convince them that video games could possibly cause any problems.

Sadly, you're completely correct.

Re:Entertainment = Increased consumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36257272)

To be fair, it's not exactly a shocking secret that bars, including sports bars, are a contributor to obesity. Ever heard the term 'beer belly'?

Not my experience with Civ. (3, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189178)

Play Civ 4 or 5, and you'll FUCKING FORGET TO EAT!

Re:Not my experience with Civ. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189354)

Nevermind Civ4. Try Civ.

Don't recall 2600 games being particularly stimulating to the appetite either.

Re:Not my experience with Civ. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189586)

Don't play Civ 4 or 5.
Play Civ 3 C.

And smoke blunts, the munchies will make you to eat.

Was this experiment perhaps non-smoking?

Re:Not my experience with Civ. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36189756)

Sounds a lot like my college days. I have no idea how I managed to pass all my courses considering I would often engage in day-long marathon sessions of Civ 2/3 and Alpha Centauri (yay for turn-based games where each turn takes 20-30 minutes and are addictive enough that you think "just ten more turns"!).

Of course, I used to just drink tea or ice water since it was a lot cheaper than eating...

Re:Not my experience with Civ. (1)

lordDallan (685707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36193964)

And then once you're finished (if you're like me or any of my gamer friends) you proceed to gorge on some high-fat, high-sugar junk food because you haven't eaten in "ages". Of course my anecdote is as equally worthless as yours is, that's why even small studies like this have merit.

IMHO humans aren't well equipped to handle an overabundant food supply as we are genetically hardwired for subsistence. I think that food consumption is some of our "lowest level programming" too. Hopefully research like that mentioned in the article will help us better understand how our "big ape brain" handles modern scenarios like the stress/challenge/reward experience of playing video games so that we can be better informed in our efforts to ameliorate behavior that leads to our dietarily profligate fat assess getting even wider.

Bored Couch Potato = Increased Food Consumption (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189232)

This just in, people without hobbies (as I write this on slashdot at 3am...) consume food in their idle time, particularly while on the couch. DNRTFA but I'm going to take a stab at this and say the study was conducted using console games.
 
I'll close this with the fact that most dining tables these days are better known as "coffee tables".

Re:Bored Couch Potato = Increased Food Consumption (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189364)

...except it's a lot easier to stuff your face when your hands are actually free.

So where they playing one of these games? (1)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189376)

Burger Time or Food Fight? Might explain why they were always hungry!

Stress (1)

Bensam123 (1340765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189628)

As a gamer for many years I can amount it to that. People eat when they're stressed out and video games that you get frustrated with or are very competitive cause stress. They make you want to eat... a lot.

Honestly (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189724)

If I was forced to play FIFA 09 I would be so bored I would eat just to relieve my sense of boredom.

Well DUH! (1)

Y2KDragon (525979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36189872)

It's like saying there is a higher consumption rate of Doritos and Mountain Dew amongst D&D players.

Some objections (1)

Smigh (1634175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190060)

Even though it's an interesting study, I have some problems with the way it applies to the real world.

1.

Energy expenditure was 21 kcal/h higher during video game play than during the resting condition.

The fact that there's an increase was expected, in the real world though, kids are rarely "resting". The comparison should be between playing video games and playing basketball, or any other activity young adults may be doing while the stereotypical obese video game player would be playing a video game.

However, subjects ate 80 more kilocalories after playing the video games than they did after the control period.

So 59 over what they needed, but would a subject playing basketball eat 60 over what they needed?

2. Another problem I have with this is that this study would only support that, under these specific habits, subjects will get fat. Are these habits natural though? Since they were imposed by the experiment, they may not be representative. The most addicting games I played made me eat less during the day than in days where I haven't played since the reward of playing overwhelmed the potential reward of satisfying my need for food. The hunger can come and go as the body enters in a catabolic state to get the resources it needs to keep going and this resulted in many chunks of 6 hours without eating, only to eat something fast to get back into playing.

This is anecdotal evidence but I believe this is the norm when talking about highly addictive games if conditions aren't imposed artificially by the experiment (or the parents). I don't think the study supports that choice with hard data.

It's still an important piece of data though.

Re:Some objections (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190320)

I was thinking roughly the same thing. More study is definitely needed, in addition to do nothing, they also need to do comparisons with other activities such as watching a soccer game versus playing a video game of one, playing a soccer versus playing the video game, or reading a book. They should also do some comparisons of different types of video games since competitive versus non-competitive games may have an influence. In additional some genres such as world-building and rpgs might be more engrossing.

Without a diversity of information the conclusion of the study could be just as easily framed as "boredom decreases caloric intake". It's entirely feasible that the researchers have found a rough spot in our metabolism where if we engage in light activity we increase the amount of food intake, but that increases might be a step-wise function, where the intake increases to the next set level. After all, exactly how much spaghetti (with sauce) is 80 kilocals? It might be interesting to see if the amount of food intake increase stays constant if the time spent playing the game doubles?

Subjective game... (1)

Ricken (797341) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190130)

It must truly depend on the game. In FIFA 09 you can surely go for a sandwich before issuing that free-kick? Or get some chips in half-time? In other games this often isn't the case. After playing some World of Warcraft one could be starving, yet go on for another hour easily.

Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36190760)

And people also likes to eat when they watches movies, when they watches sports' games or when they read a book. Stop associating videogames with every common bad habit or missbehavior of teenagers (or any other demographic group).

Correlation (0)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36190782)

Causation

Not the same, etc.

Re:Correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36192832)

"Overrated"? My comment was "Overrated"?

If anything, this story was "Overrated". If anything, my comment was "Redundant", but only because this stupid study somehow saw the light of day and nobody should have to point out how idiotic it is.

This is a surprise? (1)

koan (80826) | more than 3 years ago | (#36191750)

What do you think the brain runs on while you've ramped it up for gaming? Blood sugar will drop and you will get hungry.

Mmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36192328)

I'm reading this article on /. and... hang on a sec... let me get a snack.

But there's always Kung Fu Tetris... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36192878)

Just burn the calories right out with Kung Fu Tetris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYeat6dozhU

and now... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36192992)

And now do the same study but have them watch a movie and you'll probably get similar results. Munching while doing a sedentary activity is pretty common.

And for adults... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36196670)

Some games will increase the consumption of:

1) marijuana
2) cigarettes
3) beer
4) coffee
5) any combo of the above
6) alt. cat food in the sleep-deprived.

You consume more energy playing games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36198660)

I'm not surprised, of course they eat, they have to replenish the energy the used up gaming, make someone play a game of just about any sport and it'll make them hungry, so why would gaming be any different?

It's an incredibly mentally demanding task, you NEED higher calorie intake!

You Eat As Needed to Avoid Gaming Distration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36201134)

Me and my gaming friends have always rushed through a lighter meal to get to gaming faster. Any gamer know this headline is bunk. Questions is not if this data is correct but who is this "research" benefiting?

I wonder... (1)

chicknfood (1180141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36223320)

Maybe there is a mental link from what your mind is experiencing to the energy it supposes you are consuming. If you are playing FPS games and performing high-energy maneuvers, perhaps your mind gives you the urge to feed to replenish the supposed loss of calories. Action gaming does increase your adrenaline, perhaps it does the same to your metabolism and "need to feed".
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