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Medicine Games Science

Video Game Playing Increases Food Intake In Teens 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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Video Game Playing Increases Food Intake In Teens

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  • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <fairwaterNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 20, 2011 @03:42AM (#36189064) Homepage

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

  • by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Friday May 20, 2011 @04:13AM (#36189178)

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

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pnot ( 96038 ) on Friday May 20, 2011 @04:35AM (#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?

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