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Active Video Games Don't Make Kids Exercise More

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the lazy-is-as-lazy-does dept.

Medicine 304

redletterdave writes "Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, designed every kid's dream study: they passed out Wii consoles to 78 kids who didn't already have one, and gave half the kids their choice of active game — such as Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution-Hottest Party 3 — and the other half their choice of inactive game, such as Disney Sing-It Pop Hits or Super Mario Galaxy. The research team tracked the youngsters for 13 weeks, testing their physical activity levels with a motion-measuring accelerometer. Participants wore the devices on a belt during four different week-long periods throughout the study, which allowed the research team to determine when they were sedentary or lightly exercising and when they were engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Accelerometer logs showed that throughout the study period, kids with the active games didn't get any more exercise than those given inactive video games. There was also no difference in minutes spent doing light physical activity or being sedentary during any week the researchers monitored."

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Same as school exercise (5, Insightful)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173239)

Study after study has shown the same thing with exercise at school.

I wonder if the problem isn't so much that the average kid is being less active, as much as the current average diet is making those kids who *aren't* inclined to be active/have a high metabolism obese instead of just out of shape.

Obese men have smaller dicks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173387)

Obese men have smaller dicks: 'penile length and sperm count were lower with obesity [oxfordjournals.org] '.

Re:Same as school exercise (5, Informative)

jerpyro (926071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173417)

As a parent of young children in a single-income household, honestly I see the next class division between those who can afford to feed their kids healthy foods and those who can't. I can see a difference in my kids' ambition and attention levels when we eat balanced, home cooked meals with vegetables and whole grains versus when they've had three days of "Pizza Night", "Cereal Night" and "Out to Eat Night".

It's scary what a good diet can do for kids, and it's even scarier that the diet is out of reach for a majority of people in America.

Re:Same as school exercise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173527)

As a parent of young children in a single-income household, honestly I see the next class division between those who can afford to feed their kids healthy foods and those who are too lazy or stupid to cook simple meals.

There, I fixed that for you.

Re:Same as school exercise (5, Insightful)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173761)

I'd say ignorant and busy.

Many people do not know how to cook interesting food for cheap. Yes, it's something that they should learn, but it is entirely as much of a skill as algebra. It takes time to develop, is not really taught in schools, and if not taught at home is going to require a lot of self-motivation to pick up.

Similarly, much of good cooking takes time. If you have one parent working and another staying at home, you have that time. If you're both working, especially if you work long hours or have a bad commute, you may not have that time.

Does that mean that we should re-examine some of our societal priorities, or make a bigger deal about keeping two parents in households, or make teaching cooking and basic life skills a bigger priority? Yes. Definitely.

We need to realize that cooking, cleaning, shopping, and budgetting aren't things that people just know, even if *we* just know them because our parents taught them to us. There are all sorts of social capital that are so organic to our experience that we don't realize how hard it is to get by without them. That doesn't mean we should think it's cool to not know these things - but it does mean we should say "we should find a way to help people know this is an option, and how they can do it" rather than just saying they're too stupid and lazy to do it.

Re:Same as school exercise (4, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174009)

I agree completely. It's entirely a matter of time. Food, Inc completely missed the point on this one too (before everyone chimes in with that documentary). It's not cheaper to eat out than it is to eat at home, it's just a matter of time and ability. My wife can cook a nutritious meal for us and our son with less than $5 pretty easily, but it takes her about an hour and a lot of equipment. It also takes a lot of skill that others might not have.

I don't know what the solution is completely, but it seems like classes like those they do for child seats would be useful. In my area they have classes where anyone can go and learn how to properly use their car seats. Childhood eating habits are at least that important. They also hand out coupons for cheap car seats for under privileged families their, they could do the same with kitchen implements.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173935)

Congrats on playing the "lower economic class people are poor because they are lazy and stupid" card. Very original.

Go compare the prices of fresh produce (assuming there is even anything other than a convenience store in your poor neighborhood) to that of cheap, processed food. Good luck with eating fresh food regularly on minimum wage.

Re:Same as school exercise (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174065)

Go further than that.

Check out the "produce" section in a lower-income neighborhood's grocery stores. Chances it's pretty small and what food is there is wilty and not appetizing-looking. Now go look at the produce section in an upscale chain like Whole Foods or Central Market; produce kept fresh-looking, wilted stuff quickly taken away, perky looking un-bruised fruits and vegetables.

It's not just a "smarts" thing. If I were looking to buy apples or bananas, and all the apples in the bin were bruised and scrawny looking and the bananas looked like they'd been left to rot, I'd probably skip the produce section too.

Re:Same as school exercise (4, Informative)

I'm just joshin (633449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173561)

Bullshit. People who can't feed their family well for less than the price of a pizza ($10-$20) are full of it.

Veggies are cheap, often under $1/lb.
Rice is less than $0.25/lb
Chicken Breasts can often be found for under $2.00/lb

The above is the core of a great meal that costs less than $6, will feed 4 people, and can be made in 35 minutes with only around 15 minutes of kitchen time.
(2lbs of chicken, 1 dry cup of rice, and 1lb of veggies)

And instead of spending $3-$4 on a loaf of bread, bake your own loaf of light wheat bread for around $0.25. With a bread machine, the work is trivial and the bread is better than store bought.

-J

Re:Same as school exercise (5, Insightful)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173631)

Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

Re:Same as school exercise (4, Funny)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173713)

I know this new fangled world is still baffling for you, having evidently slept for the last few hundred years, but during your nap we've invented certain things. They include the refrigeration, which is like the ice box of your time but keeps things cold (or even frozen) year round with no need to fit it with expensive blocks of harvested ice. We have also invented the microwave which is like a fast heating oven without the heat, fire or time the later requires.

I recommend you look into these fine inventions before commenting again.

Re:Same as school exercise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174119)

No you stupid ass fucktard, people don't have the fucking time to cook you dipshit. People must work 3 fucking jobs just to make ends meet. Just because you are fucking rich and have a fucking maid or work 40 hours per week doesn't mean everyone else is. Many are also in a position that they have children to support, by themselves.

I recommend you shoot yourself in the fucking head before you can fucking reproduce.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174141)

This is precisely the issue. Prepared frozen microwaveable meals are attractive to people with a low SES because they store longer (less time spent shopping) and they take less time to prepare. Those meals are also among the most unhealthy things you will find in a grocery store.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173719)

Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

If a school-aged child can't be trusted/doesn't have the ability to throw some vegetables in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave, and throw some chicken on a skillet, then there's a serious problem. I was cooking meals on my own by 6th grade. The only reason I didn't before that was I didn't have to. But I had the ability to.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174085)

You leave a 5th or 6th grade kid home alone using the gas range or electric range, and you watch CPS get called on you the first time they burn a finger and the teacher reports it.

Then you answer to CPS as to why your kid was "unsupervised and allowed to work with dangerous cooking equipment."

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173759)

That is the most ridiculous excuse I've heard. Who says you have to cook it all individually?

You can cook breakfast and lunch in the morning, and cook dinners in the evening. Plus, if you've a single income household (re: OP), odds are, one of the parents is home.

It really isn't that hard. You even get microwaveable veggies, and grill the meat. Half hour to an hour at most. Add some spices and you're good to go.

Grab a drink of water or lemonade, and you've a pretty darn healthy meal. Hell, even if you only had a healthy breakfast and dinner, you're doing better than most.

Re:Same as school exercise (4, Insightful)

atfrase (879806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173821)

Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

It is very, very important for people to read and understand the significance of this comment.

Many folks from the "middle"-class on up simply don't understand what life is like for single parents, or even or dual parents who must work multiple jobs to pay the bills. Yes, raw food of the sort that can be prepared into healthy and nutritious meals is not (necessarily) inherently expensive; what puts it out of reach for many low-income folks is not the money but the TIME it takes to go to the grocery store, bring those foodstuffs home, and then prepare them.

Single parents cannot leave their small children unattended that long, and bringing them along adds even more logistical overhead. There often isn't a single grocery store in low-income neighborhoods, requiring an even longer car trip, if the family can even afford a car; otherwise, an even longer bus ride, which also limits the trip to how much can be carried in two hands to, from and on the bus.

Making a healthy diet accessible to low-income families is not an issue of price, it is an issue of availability and logistics, and those issues are NOT insignificant. People need to understand that, to avoid falling into the trap of thinking poor folks are just lazy -- they're not, most of them work harder than you do, I promise you. Unless you've actually been a low-income single parent, don't presume to understand what the challenges are.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173933)

lol. this is absurd. Guess what, I get home at 6-6:30pm (after my 1.5 hour commute), have dinner ready by 6:30-7:30. We eat well. My wife does the dishes and cleans up after dinner, guess what, she worked all day too! Insane eh, people preparing food!

-- not middle class, still somehow feeds family well

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

DarKnyht (671407) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174175)

You are correct those can be barriers/limitations, especially if you are not willing to adapt to those barriers/limitations. To my knowledge places like Schwan's still do home delivery of a multitude of fruits/vegetables, meats, and complete meals. And before you protest, Schwan's can be ordered online, by phone, or just by having a sales person stop by, and they deliver by truck, freezer bag, or UPS. Along those lines, most people can invest and should into not only a refrigerator but a small stand up freezer (most larger cities have used appliance stores and even new a freezer is only about $150 or about the cost of the smartphone you just had to have).

Instead of going out for food, let the food come to you. Another option instead of buying your groceries daily/weekly, plan ahead and buy bi-weekly or monthly. Buying in bulk (with coupons) saves money and reduces the overall time that you need for shopping so that you can reasonably plan (babysitting, taxi, friend to help, etc.). In fact, the savings brought by planning ahead and buying/preparing your own food vs. McDonald's will help pay for the items above. Invest in freezer containers and have a meal preparation day (ie. cook and then freeze the food to be reheated when the week is busy), and learn that it is okay to eat the same thing for a few days.

I agree it is not easy to be a single parent in a low income situation. However, planning and making good use of what time you do have can go a long way to take some of the pressure off your back. If you can find time to watch television, then you have time that you could be doing some of the above. I know it's not fair, but the question is, "What are you willing to sacrifice so your children can have a better future?"

But I also agree with something another poster said. Our public schools/society fail to teach us what should be considered basic life skills. No one should walk away from school not knowing basic homemaking (cooking and cleaning), budgeting (balancing a checkbook and living within your means), and basic mechanical skills (car care/maintenance, home care/maintenance). And these are lessons that should start early in education.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173711)

Ingredients are cheap, but you have to cook them, which requires time. Oh and does a loaf of bread really cost $3-4 where you live? The last time I spent that much on a loaf of bread it was a focaccia with sun dried tomatoes and olives. A baked-in-store supermarket loaf costs about half that. I do bake my own bread, but mostly because it's nicer when it's cooked 10 minutes ago than when it's cooked that morning, not because it's cheaper. Given the current price of flour and electricity, I don't think my home-baked bread is much cheaper than buying it.

Re:Same as school exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173823)

Save the bread machine money and buy the cheapest whole grain bread in the store.

Bigger problem is the lack of "Home Economics" education. Many young adults just don't know how to cook AT ALL, much less how to cook healthy food. Not to mention understanding nutrition basics.

When the parents and schools don't teach how to be healthy, the children don't know how to be healthy.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173827)

It's even easier than that. You cook in bulk once (or twice) a week, refrigerate/freeze and then microwave (or reheat on the stove) during the week.

Re:Same as school exercise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173957)

And how exactly is a low-income family going to get a bread machine?

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174199)

We purchased ours for $4 at a local thrift store. There were a bunch available at that price. I'm not adding this comment to argue one way or the other about how difficult/not difficult it is for the poor to enjoy healthy diets. This is simply info that some of you might find useful. Our $4 bread machine has been a great investment. Not only does it give us fresh bread, it provides an activity that the kids enjoy.

Re:Same as school exercise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173995)

Eating lots of rice is unhealthy. My brother is a doctor and all his Indian patients are getting diabetes from the rice heavy meals they eat.

Veggies are not cheap unless you eat nothing but onions.

Are you actually proposing that a person on close to minimum wage should go buy a bread machine? Like a rich person saying "Stop complaining about your old car breaking down and go buy a new BMW, so simple! Idiot."

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

jerpyro (926071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174093)

I think a large part of what I'm saying is that people need to be educated on *how* to make cheap meals. And education takes time. And that time isn't easy to come by if BOTH parents are working MULTIPLE jobs and making less than I do. I also have to think that those people have the conception that they should eat something enjoyable rather than utility -- not many people can handle eating Rice, Beans and Chicken over Frozen Veggies every night.

The people I'm talking about can't afford pizza or out-to-eat night like we can. The pizza comment was intended to illustrate the contrast between balanced diets and unbalanced. I'm not complaining about my salary, I'm just saying that some people really do eat off the dollar menu because the $5-7 to feed your family in 10 minutes is less than the $3-5 + 2 hours it takes to plan, prepare and clean up after a meal.

Those are also the types of people who don't have time to read and post on slashdot :P

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174195)

Around these parts, a pizza can always be purchased for $5, so you are already wrong. Rice and bread are terrible for you. If your going to eat them, you don't really have much room for complaining about pizza. When you stick to the healthy, meat and vegetables, your price goes up.

You are comparing expensive fast food to cheap eating in.

Re:Same as school exercise (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173567)

Go to any grocery store, and you can get packs of frozen vegetables for $1, and often times even less than that. While they are certainly not as healthy as fresh vegetables, they are still healthier and easily affordable, even on a minimum wage income. They are still far cheaper and healthier than pizza or going to a fast food joint, and they cook up in minutes. Combine that with a pack of $1.99 per lb of chicken, and you can feed a family of 4 for $5-6. Go to McDonalds, and 1 combo meal will cost more than that. A healthy diet is not out of reach for most of America. The problem is that most of America simply DOES NOT WANT IT. Just like with making sure your kid gets a good education, or has a good home life, it requires effort. Many people these days just don't want to have to make any effort.

Re:Same as school exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173703)

I totally agree that cooking from scratch at home can be cheap and doesn't have to be too time consuming, and certainly much healthier than just buying rubbish. However, I find it odd that fruit and vegetables do seem more expensive in the US than they do in the UK, and almost everything else (except for broadband) is more expensive here. I'm American, but live permanently in the UK now, and when we go to visit my mother in the US for a few weeks every year, we're always taken aback by the cost of fresh fruit and veg (you'd think we would have got over it by now!). That's not to say that everyone can't afford them, just that they're relatively more expensive in the US than the UK (in my experience).

Re:Same as school exercise (5, Informative)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173809)

Frozen vegetables can be more nutrient rich than fresh, especially if the fresh vegetables were flown in from another country or stored in a warehouse before making it to the supermarket.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2902223.stm [bbc.co.uk]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozen_vegetables [wikipedia.org]
http://www.livestrong.com/article/71064-fresh-versus-frozen-produce-which-healthier/ [livestrong.com]

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174139)

Chicken's not $1.99/lb here, it's closer to $4.99/lb. Beef and pork are more expensive, and good quality fish is in the range where it's a luxury for a lot of people. And the frozen veggies are nowhere near the quality of fresh veg... some veggies can be frozen and still retain their nutrition, but some veggies lose all nutrition value when you freeze 'em.

And aside from that, it's not only the economics of buying fresh/quality food. It's also the economics of time... if you're living in the bracket where both parents have to work full time, and your kid is a latchkey kid, then the kid is likely to feed themselves at least some of the time. That usually means having stuff in the house that the kid can easily prepare on their own. Read: pre-fab stuff they can toss in the oven when they get home.

There are ways around it... for breakfast, for example, most hot cereals will keep quite well overnight and can be reheated in the microwave in the morning... I cook oatmeal or cream of wheat the night before, because I'm usually out the door and on the way to work at 6:30 and it saves time. But ultimately, it is a question of time, and if you don't have time to put in the prep work for preparing a healthy meal, you'll default to prefab food that you can toss in the oven and ignore.

There's a degree of laziness involved for some, definitely, but for others, it really is a question of not being able to afford the time. GP is correct that it will be a new class divide.

Re:Same as school exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173585)

I really don't see how this is a cost issue. Healthy foods aren't inherently more expensive by any means. Vegetables and whole grains are cheap, and chicken and turkey are not very expensive either. You can certainly make a healthy meal for a hell of a let less money than Pizza Night or Out to Eat night, and you can also eat healthily on Out To Eat night and, to a lesser extent, Cereal Night. And don't pretend for a second that it's a lack of money that leads to Cereal Night; that comes exclusively from a lack of time and/or energy.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173689)

I'm interested in the raw numbers for the meals you're quoting. Eating out is frankly pretty expensive, and a report I read showed that home-cooked, healthy meals tended to be cheaper but far more time-consuming.

Thus, the assertion of being unable to afford healthy food could be accurate for a family where the caregivers are working a combined 140 hours per week or something. For single-income households (with two parents) there's almost no reason to not choose the cheaper, healthier, time-consuming option.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

jerpyro (926071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174211)

My dinners at home typically run about $10-20.
Two pounds of fresh veggies (at $2-4/pound), two pounds of meat ($3-5/pound), half a loaf of bread ($2), half gallon of milk ($2), sauces/spices/condiments ($1) and about two hours for prep/eat/clean time.

My previous comment was misinterpreted. We don't buy pizza and out-to-eat night because it's cheaper -- I put that in as an example of when we don't eat healthy to illustrate attention span. My points about money are regarding people who don't have the two hours to spend cooking per day, and can't afford $10/meal.

Re:Same as school exercise (3, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173751)

Sorry, don't believe you. The cheapest meals I eat each week are the ones I cook myself from fresh ingredients. The more expensive nights are the ones where I treat myself to a pre-prepared meal or a takeaway.

Fresh-cooked food takes longer to prepare and has a higher effort-barrier and, common pieties aside, unless you are a seriously good cook it may not actually taste as nice as the pre-processed stuff - but unless you're insisting on only buying organic and other daft middle-class obsessions, it's pretty much always cheaper.

Re:Same as school exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174033)

Some would call your "fresh ingredients" a "daft middle-class obsession" and say their eating out habits are just fine. Don't be so quick to pass your petty judgments.

Re:Same as school exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173819)

One word as an example of that; England.

Re:Same as school exercise (4, Insightful)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173927)

I think the class division is already there, between those who have the acquired knowledge and prioritization to provide healthy meals on a limited budget, and those who do not.

It is definitely more *complicated*, but it does not require significantly more time or expense.

Today, I can throw together any of several dozen meals that will be cheaper and healthier than frozen or prepared foods, and only take an extra 10 minutes of prep. If I had tried the same thing ten years ago I would have been limited to ramen and mac & cheese.

It used to be that girls studied home economics and cooking, so that someone in the family would know how to handle these things. I'm glad women have other and more options now, but we need to do *something* to fill that knowledge gap.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173961)

While I agree that diet will certainly effect your ability to think, and general energy levels, I am not convinced that things will play out like you think. What kids (and adults) are currently being taught are 'healthy' foods are so far out of whack that I don't see the wealthy coming out dramatically ahead.

Your list is a good example. Yes, Pizza and Cereal are terrible for you, but the idea that somehow your food being cooked in your own home magically makes it healthier than if it is cooked in a restaurant, shows how far off people can get in understanding food. There is also the fact that the population is been trained to think that an all sugar/no fat diet is somehow healthy. This will likely lead to those that can afford to feed their children healthy food, choosing foods that are unhealthy, while patting themselves on the back for being such great parents.

Re:Same as school exercise (1, Interesting)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174051)

Fast food is extremely expensive. It's way cheaper to buy raw meats, vegetables and fruit. Grass feed beef and antibiotic free chicken, plus organic fruits and vegies are ideal and are on the expensive side, but going for the regular store stuff is still WAY healthier than fast food and also much more affordable.

Grains and complex carbs are all very unhealthy. A proper healthy diet should only consist of fruit, vegetables and meats (there is a LOT of room to do good cooking there, you can do many sauces and stuff just with vegies.) Nuts and mushrooms are also fine.

Bread, potato, pasta and rice are the biggest reason for obesity. You don’t even have to over eat them to gain weight if your diet is nearly heavily based around them. You won’t lose weight counting calories as long as these items are still on your diet.

Fats are actually not as bad as most people think. The correlation between fat and heart decease is something I still don’t understand. It has no real medical study backing and almost seems religious in nature (pure faith.) In combination with complex crabs they can buildup but it’s not because of fats, it’s because of what the crabs do to you that your body can’t process them properly.

It’s actually takes a lot of effort to gain weight if you only consume meats, fruits and vegetables.

Big clarification: some confuse this with “low carb” diets. That’s not how this goes. It’s not about eliminating all carbs; it’s about eliminating gluten and complex carbs. You should get your carb intake from fruit and vegetables, and most meals may actually not go down very well if they are entirely composed of meat and fat.

One last note: candy and granulated sugar are not mentioned here but are horrible for you. Get your sweet stuff from fruit like pears and kiwi. Oh and the stuff stores sell under the name of “yogurt” is either just candy or artificial chemical hell. Avoid that stuff.

Sources: The prices at the grocery store, the prices at fast foods and my wife who is a diabetes researcher.

Fats are actually not as bad for you as most people think. The correlation between fat and heart decease is something I still don’t understand. It has no real medical study backing and almost seem religious in nature (pure faith.) In combination with complex crabs they can buildup but it’s not because of fats, it’s because of the crabs.

It’s actually takes a lot of effort to gain weight if you only consume meats, fruits and vegetables.

Big clarification: some confuse this with “low carb” diets. That’s not how this goes. It’s not about eliminating all carbs; it’s about eliminating gluten and complex carbs. You should get your carb intake from fruit and vegetables, and most meals may actually not go down very well if they are entirely composed of meat and fat.

Sources: The prices at the grocery store, the prices at fast foods and my wife who is a diabetes researcher.

Re:Same as school exercise (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174055)

Cooking is cheaper than eating out. The fact that there is a correlation between poor people and obesity it's not because low income causes obesity, but because there is a common cause behind those two things: laziness.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174165)

I see the next class division between those who can afford to feed their kids healthy foods and those who can't

Funny I see the opposite. It is actually more expensive eating out or eating unhealthy when you have a teenager vs eating healthy. We eat assorted meats and fresh veggies every night for far less than eating out every night.

Re:Same as school exercise (2)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173919)

I'm wondering if the problem isn't that we need to make kids exercise more, but that kids will exercise the same amount no matter what you do. We have many studies showing that we can't make kids exercise more, but we keep trying. It seems insane to me.

Instead of trying to control something that studies show is uncontrollable, we should control what we can. I would think we should make the exercise they do at school and at home as fun as possible so it's a positive experience in their minds and then teach them to eat healthy. Since eating appears to be the only part of the calorie equation we can control, this is the only way to fight childhood obesity. Linking exercise with positive things in their minds encourages them to continue exercising throughout their life.

Re:Same as school exercise (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174039)

Well normally people with a Low Metabolism are the ones who tend to be more overweight as their body doesn't burn calories as quickly.

But people with a Low Metabolism tend to be less active in general. I knew a girl with a very High Motabolism, she needed to eat all the time if she didn't or skipped a snack she would be in pain. And she was quite thin, while myself I have to watch everything I eat if I eat too much I will gain weight.

But also this girl would be far more hyper then I would be. Almost everything she needed to do it had to be done quick, it was like I was on Slow Motion and She was on Fast Forward.

So people do have a different natural tenancy towards activity levels. While diet is part of the problem, but it also more to the fact there is less need for a kid to be active when they don't want to be so. In today world of Stranger Danger and Zero Tolerance Hyper safety rules kids are not allowed to be active except for during regulated non-fun events.

To keep our kids safe we get them use to living in a situation where going out isn't fun, and they cannot visit their friends unless it is in a well regulated environment. Exercise needs to happen during particular hours during the day and with the prescribed activities often with people who you dislike.

kinect is a lot better (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173263)

i had a wii and even with the balance board the exercise quality was so so. and its easy to cheat with the controller

kinect is a lot better in making you actually move and there is no way to cheap since the software is looking for specific body positions not just movement of the controller

Re:kinect is a lot better (0)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173391)

The Kinect isn't perfect either. If someone gets in the camera's view, it can mess up the game. The camera also needs good lighting for it to work properly. Both systems have their Pros and Cons.

Re:kinect is a lot better (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173577)

> Both systems have their Pros and Cons.

True. But the Pros for the Kinect that the grandparent poster was talking about were in reference only to how much physical activity is involved.

The Cons for the Kinect that you mentioned were all in regards to its various possible technical deficiencies.

So...nice non sequitur, I guess?

Re:kinect is a lot better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173743)

I agree with what you're saying but that has nothing to do with the fact that you still have to actually move.

Re:kinect is a lot better (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173429)

I'd have to agree. When I had a wii one of my friends would lay down on the couch to play the tennis game, it's just about flicking the controller around. Now I have a connect and I honestly do feel that I get some exercise if I play Just Dance 3, or Dance Central 2. With the wii it was almost too easy to cheat, and in a lot of ways I felt you would be better off cheating. If you can just concentrate on moving the controller and not your feet you'd get a better score. Clearly missing the point of the fun of the game, but hey some people sit down to play Rock Band, some people jump around and actually rock out playing the fake guitars. Just depends on what your objective is, points and/or fun.

Cheat? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173519)

What kind of person Cheats at Wii Fit?

Re:Cheat? (3, Insightful)

vidnet (580068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173627)

Kids whose parents incentivize them.

Re:Cheat? (1)

nozzo (851371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173661)

exactly. if you want to get fit then the Wii Fit is a means to an end therefore you would put effort in to the games. If you wanted to play around then just sit down and wave the controller around. It's not a question of the system let's you cheat but more of if the individual actually wants to get fit/lose weight. my gf and I have the wii plus fitboard and dance and we really get in to it. My heart-rate-monitor tells me I have increased heart-rate and am burning calories. Now get up off that couch and shake it baby.

Re:Cheat? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173993)

A lot, just Google wii fat.

Re:kinect is a lot better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173547)

The person above me (na1led) is right, both systems have their pros and cons.

I have to say, from my personal experience, it also depends what game you play with the Kinect. I guess you burn more calories by playing games in a standing position compared to playing games in a sitting position (for example Rise of Nightmares vs. Resident Evil 5). But if you want to call it physical exercise, you will have to play some game that requires your whole body to move (Dance Central, You Shape).

I regularly run once or twice a week so I'm in a somewhat good shape. Kinect Adventures made me sweat a lot while going for 1000Gs, so I guess that's a quite active game if you are looking for exercise.

Re:kinect is a lot better (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173557)

This is my impression as well. Even if you don't try to cheat, the Wii controller just isn't all that much of an exercise (at most, it involves moving your arms around a bit), while even relatively sedentary Kinect games require you to be at least standing and usually involves moving your whole body, if only to make sure the sensor actually detects the motion. And the more active Kinect games are a huge workout.

Of course, I'll take my keyboard and mouse or joystick (or hell, even a controller in a few games) over either one when it comes to actually playing a game, which is supposed to be enjoyable and requires precision if it is any kind of challenging. Kinect and Wii just don't provide that.

Re:kinect is a lot better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173569)

That was the first thing I noticed when I got the Kinect... no scamming the sensor.

Games like Wii sports mostly involve sitting down and occasionally flicking your wrist. Even with games like Wii Fitness, whether or not it works is entirely on you. The system does a poor job *forcing* you to get active.

With Kinect, you've gotta actually get up and move. No sitting, no slouching, etc. Sure there are limitations, but being able to sit and play is not one of them.

Re:kinect is a lot better (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173683)

I have both - and use both as part of my daily exercise routine. The both have their pros and cons. The balance board does have an awful lot of limitations, but it has one great benefit; a few routines you can do while the TV is tuned to another input (with occasional voice guidance via the Wiimote).

My daily routine now is 20 minutes or so of fairly vigorous stuff in Your Shape 2012 on the Kinect, followed by 20 minutes of either free jogging or free step on the Wii; just long enough to watch an episode from one of my anime DVDs, which keeps the thing interesting and keeps me motivated.

It does work; through a combination of this routine and controlling what I eat, I got from 238 pounds down to 160 pounds (I'm 6 foot tall) over the course of 9 months and have held the weight off for 6 months since managing that. I need some sort of goal-system thingy to keep me motivated for exercise, and Your Shape/Wii Fit do that pretty well.

You got to make kids do stuff... (5, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173295)

Kids left to themselves won't change their behavior. Parenting means more than buying your kid a toy and hoping for the best. News at 11.

Re:You got to make kids do stuff... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173539)

True, but you'd think that if you gave them a basket ball they'd spent more time playing basket ball and if you gave them a guitar they'd spend more time sitting still playing the guitar. Assuming it's something they would do at all of course, but kids often do what they're given the opportunity to do. Of course that's not all parenting is about, but I'm surprised to see no effect at all.

Unfinished business (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173301)

Baranowski said his team couldn't tell if kids just didn't end up exerting much energy playing the active games, or if they compensated for exercise they got playing Wii with less exercise at other points in the day.

But that's the million-dollar question. Guess we'll have to wait until Part II.

This reminds me of... (4, Insightful)

filmorris (2466940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173313)

I remember, once upon a time, when there was a thing called "outside". Kids didn't need videogames to exercise, as they did actual exercise. Seriously, thinking videogames=exercise is so dumb it should be illegal.

Causes of the decline of outside (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173349)

A couple things not directly related to video games caused the decline of outside. One is the decline of pedestrian-friendly urban design. Suburban sprawl makes it difficult for children to find playmates in a like age group and for them to find a place in which to play. Another is public hysteria about child molesters who lurk in public play areas.

Re:Causes of the decline of outside (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173765)

This, and plenty of it.

Where I grew up, I lived within a block of both a park and library. In order to get to either, I had to walk down the alleyway behind our house (low use for about 15 local residents), across a school parking lot (low use for the times of day I would go to the park and library), and across a street that saw very little traffic. MacGyver and A-Team did not have episodes about child molesters, and my parents were confident that if I'd go to either place, there was minimal risk. We would ride bikes around our city block growing up, knowing that people would look out for children on bikes; additionally, the sidewalks were on both sides of the street, so we never had to go into the street to bike all the way around.

I'm now raising two children. We have a park a block away, but I personally feel compelled to go to the park with them every time they want to go (they are 7 and 9, so I don't feel they are quite old enough to go on their own yet.) The sidewalks are only on one side of the street, so there's no way for them to bike in a loop without crossing a street in order to do so. Further, the residents in the middle of the neighborhood we are in can't seem to figure out what "Speed Limit 30" means - frequently they are trucking through at 40mph, despite the fact that they know there are children in the area, so in order to go biking I need to load up all the bikes, kids, and take them to a local park with trails. The nearest library is about 3 miles away, so drive our kids to the library and load them up on books every weekend.

There are numerous soccer fields within a mile of our house, but getting to them involves walking across a county highway where the speed limit is 55 mph, and walking up the sidewalk along that highway. It only takes one distracted driver to veer off the highway and onto the sidewalk (there is no curb separator.) So if they want to play soccer, we're driving to the soccer fields.

Current urban design is driven by economics, not personal well-being. It's aggravating.

Re:Causes of the decline of outside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173881)

Don't forget public hysteria about gangs.

Re:Causes of the decline of outside (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173991)

Not to mention a general hysteria of children getting hurt. True, the child mortality rates have gone down somewhat too but in return it sounds like nature is too dangerous with those hard rocks and pointy branches and tall trees. The "kid safe" play areas are often very cramped that you could run around it in a minute or two while not being very challenging and repetitive. If you want real activity then hiking/biking/camping/skiing/swimming/something out in nature where you have larger areas is almost a must.

Re:This reminds me of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173381)

Seriously. The only time my 4 year old slows down is when he's playing Wii. All he wants is his bike and the outdoors.

And anything with a Cars logo.

Re:This reminds me of... (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173419)

Yea, instead of playing Tennis on the TV, go play Tennis outside. There is no substitute for the real thing.

Re:This reminds me of... (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173853)

Right, because it's just as easy for a parent to drive to the nearest tennis court (which may be fairly far away if you aren't rich) and stay at the tennis court for an hour and then drive back, every day, as it is to buy wii sports.

Re:This reminds me of... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173651)

I remember, once upon a time, when there was a thing called "outside". Kids didn't need videogames to exercise, as they did actual exercise. Seriously, thinking videogames=exercise is so dumb it should be illegal.

I remember back in my middle teens, there was this restaraunt we would go to that had a few arcade games. One of them was a shooting game where you had to control your character by moving. You had to crouch to crouch, lean right to lean/move right, etc. After playing it for about 10-15 minutes, I was soaked in sweat and my legs were starting to wear down/cramp up. It was easily one of the best and most entertaining leg workouts I've ever had. And I wasn't the kind of person that just sat around all day; I was on the football and wrestling teams and seeing a trainer on my own. So yes, video games can be good exercise if implemented properly. The problem is that they aren't.

Explanation? (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173341)

So were the active video game kids just not playing their (boring) games and that is why it was equal?
Did they figure out it is actually a whole lot easier to minimize your moments (or even just use normal controls) instead of waving your arms about and jumping around like the adverts?
Did the kids who did not get exercise from their video games do a little on their own?

Re:Explanation? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173457)

Did they figure out it is actually a whole lot easier to minimize your moments

If you want to 100% Dance Dance Revolution, even minimizing your movements won't keep you from exerting yourself when you get to "Max 300" on heavy [youtube.com] . The uploader mentions "playing on the inside of the pad", and I see heel-toe technique used, but that still doesn't make 573 steps in 90 seconds not a workout. But perhaps quitting DDR before finishing the Maxes might count as "not playing their (boring) games". Though I've beaten 9 footers such as "Rhythm and Police" and easy 10s such as "Sakura" and "bag", I never progressed far enough to do the Maxes on heavy either.

Re:Explanation? (1)

Krazy Kanuck (1612777) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173985)

FTA:

It's still possible that kids playing active Wii games burned a few extra calories during their gaming sessions that the movement device didn't pick up on -- for instance, if they were moving their arms a lot in a boxing game, Barkley said.

I cannot think of the Wii game that I have played that I could not do sitting down (with obvious exclusion to Wii Board games), including various dance games. Seeing as you are holding the controller in your hand and it is not attached your waist I'm inclined to think that invalidates this test to some degree as the data capture accelerometer for the testing was on the waist.

You get back what you put in (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173353)

If your goal is to beat the next level in the game, then you don't expect much exercise. My kids play the Wii because their bored, and they just want to play a game. My wife uses the Wii to exercise and gets a good workout from it. It all depends on your mind set and what you expect to get from these games.

Structured fun (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173363)

Slightly off topic, but very closely related, does anyone have stats on what results in more activity, structured scheduled programmed events or free time?

My gut level guess is free time results in much higher activity levels than structured events. Building a snow fort is exhausting compared to warming a bench at a sport. Etc.

It Might be that enforced structured scheduled wii play (OK governor katy pery song on just dance 3 will commence from precisely 1012 to 1015, after which the next scheduled song, like it or not, will be ...) is just boring and less energetic than kids just going crazy doing whatever they want.

Thinking back to my youth, when I wasn't chasing dinosaurs, hunting for woolly mammoth, or going fishing for trilobites, if I built a snow fort however I wanted I went crazy building it until I'd practically collapse, but given an "assembly line job" of repeatedly replicating a standardized boring data analysis driven snow fort I'd probably have all joy crushed out of the experience.

Short version is butchering wood in the basement workshop = big fun = high energy but middle school shop class making a birdhouse = no fun, I Fing hate birds = just do the minimum until next class. Wii might be the same way.

Re:Structured fun (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173471)

I would ignore your gut level guess. Your youth sounds very different from mine. I spent most of my youth in my own head not doing much physical activity unless prompted to do so. Go to a playground and you will se a couple fat kids standing around not doing anything. Some people when given a choice will choose to conserve energy.

Re:Structured fun (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173593)

The social structure of our society today is creating Fat Lazy kids. Parents are too worried about letting their kids go play outside unsupervised, and their are too many rules and regulations that keep kids from having fun. When I was a kid, I rode my Bike all over the place and my parents never worried about it unless I came home late. Today, everyone is living under fear.

Re:Structured fun (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174177)

Today, everyone is living under fear.

Sad, but true. There is always a risk no matter what you do. Being afraid to live is just sad... No surprise so many people (and kids...) are depressive today.

Accellerometer on the belt (2)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173375)

How about putting the accelerometers at the end of the kids' limbs instead ?

Re:Accellerometer on the belt (2)

Zondar (32904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173687)

I thought the exact same thing. I remember playing one of those boxing simulators in an arcade several years back, one with motion tracking and real gloves you wore. I can guarantee that game burned more calories than any other game there, but the researcher's methodology (putting accelerometers on the belt) wouldn't have measured that either.

Re:Accellerometer on the belt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173889)

Because it would contracdict the entire point of their research paper.

For a real test, put accelerometers at each joint on a subject's arm, and give them one of those 'inactive' games. I haven't played any of the games listed, but I know Metroid Fusion and Star Wars: Force Unleashed can lead to some frantic arm-flinging (and the occasional attempted full-body dodge that ends up not being understood by the game system).

Re:Accellerometer on the belt (1)

Nationless (2123580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173917)

Attach rope (or use inevitable safety strap), swing it around. If a kid wants to be lazy, they will.

There's the problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173385)

They gave them WIIs instead of XBOXs!!!

Re:There's the problem! (3, Funny)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173583)

But we want them to work out their muscles, not their vocabulary of racial slurs.

Well (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173395)

Thinking that "active" video games will increase exercise among children, is like expecting that a news aggregate website will increase the amount of reading people do.

...And to clarify, there's a reason why the acronym RTFA exists.

They may not make them exercise more... (5, Funny)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173425)

But they sure do excel at transforming them into cold-blooded murderers.

Even more important (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173487)

Will the PlayStation Move Sharpshooter [ign.com] make me a better shot?

Re:Even more important (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173629)

Presumably you're joking, but FWIW, I had enough fun playing Link's Crossbow Training that I bought (used) copies of it for all of my co-workers who had Wii Consoles and made wooden zappers for them in my workshop --- unfortunately the motion for aiming w/ an IR pointer is a bit different than that required in real life (even when using a laser pointer style site), so doubt it helps much save for helping one w/ concentration and target acquisition.

I've pretty much transitioned to archery, so have been getting much more out of Wii Sports Resort and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and actually find that using the Wii Motion Plus style gyroscopic archery control helps me maintain my focus when I can't get out to the range.

DDR? (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173489)

DDR is the only thing among these that give an actual workout, and that's only if you play the game for long enough to get good on the hardest difficulties.

Yeah, handing kids a Wii is not the answer, duh. You still have to WORK OUT. o_O

Re:DDR? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173659)

They attach an accelerometer to their waist and expect to monitor activity when the Wii can generally be played armchair style. DDR may be a bit different but I still imagine you can sit on your but and bounce your feet about. If you want a true understanding what how video games can engage people in physical activity then they really should have used the Kinect and/or found a better way to monitor things than a stupid device on the least active part of the body (when playing Wii). I suspect though that this really isn't about demonstrating anything other than than the "evils" of video games.

Video Games make you fat and lazy (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173511)

We all knew this, our parents have been telling us this since we were kids.

Re:Video Games make you fat and lazy (1)

Dogbertius (1333565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173879)

I have played video games most of my life and I have six pack abs and only nine percent body fat. I also exercise one hour per day. The two activities aren't mutually exclusive.

More gym class, and recess for younger kids... (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173623)

My 6yro is a wildman when it comes to most of the Wii "active games" he gets pretty excited and jogs in place and is constantly moving - he gets fairly sweaty doing it, tho he is probably an exception to the rule.

When I was in school we had a lot of phys ed - everyday in grade school, 3 days a week in middle school, and high school. Now I think my kid gets 2 days of gym a week. Sure there is recess, but its in 15 minute spurts, or a 30 minute lunch where half the time is spent eating his lunch.

There is no such thing (0)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173657)

as an "active videogame". There is such a thing as an "active game". Most sports, for example, are; too bad you have to go out and move your *ss in order to get some benefit out of them. Same is true for chess: instead of dull and stultifying video games, teach your kids chess. It will give their brains a workout.

I have a hard time believing that there actually are parents, whether European or US or wherever, who need to be *told* such basic things. Sheesh.

Re:There is no such thing (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174135)

I have to especially agree with the idea that chess - and other non-digital games - are going to be a lot more beneficial than digital games. Because when you play a videogame, you're just responding to the game and creating a loose model of the system, but when you play chess (or Warhammer, or Settlers of Catan, or MtG, or cribbage) you have to know the rules completely in order to play. I'm all for my kid becoming a big gamer, but mostly in the non-digital realm.

Mario was good exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173685)

I don't know about other people, but when I was a kid the video games had me bouncing off the walls in excitement. Did no one else strain and lean holding the controller out way to the side as if it would make Mario jump a little farther?

Apparently I still do it too. My wife commented the other day I was tilting in front of my computer; I was trying to fly a helicopter in battlefield 3.

Really? Where did real studies or reporting go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39173925)

My house had a simple rule growing up that I intend to apply to any kids I may have: you have to spend time outside everyday. For me it was at least an hour and I'm quite sure it was also to let my parents relax a bit after work, but it kept me active until I was in my late teens.

With that said I should also mention that some important facts about the study were left out of the article. Did the kids take the Wii home and if so did they double check that they didn't buy other games for it? If you give them a choice of 3 movement games that they just don't like then they won't play them and if they were bought other non-movement games they'd just play those. On top of that you only give them the Wii if they comply with the times to turn on the sensor devices, so did anyone make sure the parents weren't helping them cheat the devices so they wouldn't have to buy the Wii they're kids are now hooked on? I'm not saying this is what happened just that these are the things that could have gone bad in the study. Generally if there are variables that aren't under scrutiny and control they can foul the results of any scientific study to the point they can't be trusted. Scientific method anyone?

More than the wii (1)

bigbangnet (1108411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173949)

Nothing beats some good old "get the fuck outside and play [insert sports name here]. Really what the hell is wrong with that ? name me 1 wrong thing with that ? nothing...theres no reason to go outside and play. Parents should get involved with their child's sport. Just playing ball is good enough...well better than gluing your ass on your sofa watching TV, computer or game console anyway. No details needed, take your kid, throw him out, get yourself outside and do something physical, walk, run, play ball. Steal a bike and get caught will the cop is beside you. Anything will do, you will have your daily exercice...really lol.

I remember when I was 20 and I subscribe to do kick-boxing, 3 times a week for 1h30 each session. I got out of there like I was walking on clouds. it was good. Now I got a kid and I play sports, play ball..whatever, I'm just outside with him playing with him doing something with him. My ass ain't stuck in a sofa. That attitude, behavior will help my kid understand that getting his ass outside the house helps and if your in a chair...well you'll get fat. plain and simpl.e

Re:More than the wii (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39174153)

Really what the hell is wrong with that ? name me 1 wrong thing with that ?

Some people don't like it. I know I don't.

Explain: how do you play DDR without moving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39174217)

Doesn't it mean that the kids actually don't play the games? I am playing DDR regularly and it's a pretty hard exercise.

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