Fight Childhood Obesity with...Video Games?!
by Danielle Wood
Do you ever wonder what happened to the good old days of childhood-- a simpler time, when chocolate milk was considered a health drink, and the most advanced video game on the planet was Ms. Pacman? Well, those days are gone my friend. And your child will never understand, as he whips his way through virtual worlds, how games like Asteroids or Pong could have ever reined supreme...
Back then, video games were a novelty. Today, they're ubiquitous. In the last decade, computer and video game sales have increased by over $5 billion. Not only are video games the norm in American households, but more than 83% of U.S. children between the ages of 8 and 18 have video game players in their bedrooms! Many experts bemoan the fact that all this sitting on the collective childhood duff is leading to increased levels of obesity. But, there's a solution on the horizon, according to an article hot off the presses from the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine: the video games themselves.
Yep. You heard me. Or at least you read me. Some of the most eminent minds in childhood medicine and public health have put their heads together to come up with a fix-all for our growing national weight problem. And not only do they want your child to play video games, they want her to play daily. "Electronic entertainment is not going away," writes Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., of the University of South Carolina School of Public Health, "So if we want to promote physical activity in the context of contemporary society, we will have to fight fire with fire." Society hasn't been all that successful getting kids to get off the couch and into the park for a game of basketball. But Pate's guessing they might be able to convince kids to at least get off the couch and into the center of the living room, joystick at-the-ready.