Video Gaming – Childhood Obesity

The connection between video gaming and childhood obesity has been catching a lot of attention in today’s modern world. Instead of engaging in strenuous physical activities such as sports, children are spending more hours indoors glued to television and computer screens playing video games. Can we blame children for getting addicted to the games? As each year passes, video games keep getting progressively more addictive, capturing younger audiences and turning them to zombies furiously pushing buttons in their virtual worlds. Although it is not really a crime to have children play video games, a certain balance between video games and physical play should be achieved especially nowadays where food items are not as fat-free as people would want them to be.

Video gaming is quite easy to fall into. There are simply too many addictive video games out there and so many easy ways for children to get their hands on them. Companies such as Sony and Microsoft have invested millions of dollars in making their next generation game consoles the ingredients to catch any child’s attention and keep it for a very long period of time. Video games that are presented in high definition with very attractive story lines coupled with a time requirement of over 5 hours to complete, which makes a very lethal combination.

It takes a decent amount of activity to burn off calories even for children who have efficient bodies. Because video games require very little physical activity, the calories remain unburned, leading to being overweight and worse, obesity.

Some video game companies promote physical activities though, which can help prevent the connection between video gaming and childhood obesity. Well known video game giant Nintendo for example, has the Nintendo wii. This next generation console combines video gaming and physical activity through a motion activated input method. Video games are played by doing certain movements instead of pressing buttons which seamlessly gets a bit of physical activities into the otherwise stationary experiences. The console promotes sport oriented titles that require players to swing, hit, punch, jump and run as they would in an actual sport. This is a great way to bridge the gaps associated with video games and fitness.

On the subject of video gaming and childhood obesity, a lot of weight falls on responsible parenting. Although video games are excellent in keeping children preoccupied, they should not be used as virtual baby sitters. Physical play is very important for children especially because it helps them develop parts of their body essential for survival. Parents should know how to regulate playing time so that balance could be achieved. Children should only be allowed a certain amount of playing time with video games so they can find other means of entertainment such as sports. Too much time with video games does not only cause children to become overweight, it could even hamper them from developing very important social skills or could lead to diseases that are related to obesity.

The connection between video gaming and childhood obesity can be easily prevented as long as parents take ample responsibility and encourage balance in the kinds of play their children are involved in.