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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Might video games help remedy childhood obesity?

Author
item Baranowski, Tom - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Childhood Obesity
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2015
Publication Date: 8/1/2015
Citation: Baranowski, T. 2015. Might video games help remedy childhood obesity?. Childhood Obesity. 11(4):1-4.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Obesity is the most prevalent health problem among children in the United States and globally, leading to diverse health problems and staggering costs. Most child obesity prevention interventions are not working well, or not at all. Part of the problem is that the causes of child obesity are not clearly known; nor are the influences on weight control. Further, our common measures of diet and physical activity are fraught with error, thereby minimizing our ability to detect true relationships between lifestyle behavior and adiposity or the outcomes of our interventions. Within this conundrum, new ideas and approaches are needed. Games for health (G4H) is a new arena of research and practice that uses entertainment game technology to attain health goals. Many of us believe that the contribution of G4H to pediatric obesity prevention and treatment can be substantial because of the broad reach of, and the great attraction to, video games among children. Funding to conduct the necessary research to enhance this effectiveness must become a national priority to find ways to engage children in a fun, but effective, way in what might otherwise be unpleasant activities.