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

    by arunce ( 1934350 ) on Friday May 20, 2011 @03:23AM (#36188954)
    is that when I was young I didn't eat anything and had my parents yelling at me to eat something while playing.
  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Friday May 20, 2011 @04:22AM (#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.

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