While I'm sure many of us could come up with different reasons why playing Minecraft is a better activity for kids than watching TV, a University of Michigan study comes to the same conclusion on the basis of diet. Apparently, TV-watchers are just worse eaters.
Consisting of 1,003 students in year six, the study found that children who watched TV were more likely to eat junk food, which they claim is caused by the ads.
Dr Elizabeth Jackson, who led the study, said "Our hypothesis is that when kids are watching TV, they're going to be accessing commercials that are more likely to be food related."
Another idea put forward was that a gamer's hands are too busy with their entertainment activity to eat (not to mention the potentially greasy/cheesy fingers), whereas a TV-watcher's hands were free to shovel down sugar.
Score one for the "games are healthy" side, I guess. Though I'd be a lot more inclined in any debate to lead with the sit-forward, mentally challenging aspects of Minecraft before getting into how less likely someone is to eat unhealthily. Especially while, y'know, going outside is still on the table. But the fact that Minecraft is basically a more complex LEGO set with hierarchical systems of materials, involving problem-solving to get what you want? Yeah, there's something to that.
But hey, I guess obesity is the great epidemic of our time. Even here, where not almost every item has high-fructose corn syrup shoehorned into it. You know what to do, parents. Play it with 'em!
[Couch lady] via Shutterstock