Bedroom TV, active gaming leads to weight gain in kids

Washington, March 5: Researchers have conducted studies to find the link between bedroom TVs, active gaming and weight issues in children.

In the first study, Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Sc.D., of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues, conducted a telephone survey in 2003 of 6,522 boys and girls (ages 10 to 14 years) to ask about bedroom televisions.

Body mass index (BMI) at two and four years after baseline was based on self-report and parent-reported weight and height for their children.

At baseline, 59.1 percent of the children surveyed reported having a bedroom television. More boys, ethnic minorities and children of lower socioeconomic status reported bedroom televisions.

Having a bedroom television was associated with an excess BMI of 0.57 at two years and 0.75 at four years of follow-up, and a BMI gain of 0.24 between years two

In another study, Stewart G. Trost, Ph.D, of the University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues, and his team evaluated the effects of active video gaming in a weight management program in YMCAs and schools in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Texas.

The study included 75 overweight or obese children (average age 10 years) randomized to a weight management program plus active gaming (n=34) or to a weight management program alone (n=41). Children in the active gaming intervention received a gaming console, motion capture device and two active games during the 16-week program.

They found that Children in the active gaming intervention had increased physical activity: moderate-to-vigorous activity increased an average 7.4 minutes/day and vigorous physical activity increased 2.8 minutes/day at week 16. There was no change or a decline in physical activity among the children who participated only in the weight management program.

Both groups saw a decline in a measure of body mass index (BMI), however the reductions were greater in the group that participated in active gaming.

Both the studies have been published in the JAMA. (ANI)