The WHO Says Games Make Kids Fat

The WHO Says Games Make Kids Fat

No, not the British rock legends, the World Health Organisation, which called out video games as a prime contributor to sedentary lifestyles obesifying the planet’s children.

Nearly a third of kids globally spend three or more hours per day playing sitting in front of a screen, whether that’s to play video games, watch television or chat online with friends. The WHO says kids aren’t getting enough exercise whether they live in a rich or a poor country.

“Growing up in a poor country does not necessarily mean that kids get more physical activity” the WHO’s Regina Guthold told Reuters.

What’s enough exercise? According to the WHO, it’s at least an hour of exercise – not counting any P.E. at school – per day for five days a week. By this measure, the WHO says just 25 percent of boys and 15 percent of girls get enough exercise.

By contrast 25 percent of boys and 30 percent of girls qualified as sedentary, which means three or more hours per day sitting on one’s arse playing games and such. The WHO conducted its study of 72,845 kids ages 13 to 15 from 2003 to 2007; the kids lived in North and South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Considering how much time I spend in front of a screen, both for my job and for leisure, I’m more than a little grateful that I grew up in a time when console games were so crappy that running around in the yard or the woods was an appealing alternative. But yeah, I could stand to get a bit more exercise as an adult. Right after I 100 percent Assassin’s Creed II of course.

Nearly Third of Children Globally are Couch Potatoes [Reuters]


  • how about a greater focus on teaching kids how to cook and prepare proper food in the schooling system.

    how about we stop blaming games and look at the root of the problem, no matter what era, there would be people who dont like exercising and spent there time reading books, or writing books.

    we live in an era where the majority of each household has both parents working, and a greater prevalence of junk food. Games are a easy scapegoat for a much bigger problem.

    • Maybe, but games usage is also fairly easy to manage.

      Perhaps a better idea is to bring about some form of immediate consequence for being unfit? People are aware that sitting on your arse and eating crap makes you fat and unhealthy… eventually, but so what?

      • what? you recommend shock therapy or some form of punishment for sitting around and enjoying your favourite past tiem.

        • No.

          What I’m saying is that eating junk food or sitting around doesn’t have an immediate effect.
          There are drawbacks but they’re not instantaneous.

          My generation is all about instant gratification… and perhaps if the drawbacks to poor lifestyle choices were more immediate, then we’d stop making them.

  • I hate to point it out (being a massive hardcore gamer myself) but they’re right. Gaming is way more addictive and time consuming than TV watching ever could be and despite the Wii and DDR, it’s not going to make you any healthier.

  • Wait what? I’m skinny as anything as a result of gaming.
    I’m too lazy to go get food, just let me finish this level..

  • Parents can’t win either way. Send them outside for some exercise and the pedobears will get them. Keep them safe inside and they get fat!
    Video games are just another easy target – any hack can get air time publishing a study saying that they cause anything.

  • i blame real estate agents.

    stick with me, in Perth Australia the average 3 bedroom house is $500,000 on an 8th acre… the house will take up most of that room and with parents terrified with letting their kids play outside without supervision. kids dont have a backyard to play in any more so where are they supposed to exercise?… and with both parents working to pay off their 500,000 dollar house whose going to watch them? so in the end i blame real-estate agents.

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