Sunday, July 12, 2015

Providing and promoting active video games does not prevent excessive weight gain in normal weight adolescents

The aim of our study just published in PLoS One -with Monique Simons as first author-, was to evaluate the effects of and adherence to an active video game promotion intervention on anthropometrics, sedentary screen time and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks among primarily normal-weight non-active video gaming adolescents.
We assigned 270 gaming adolescents (i.e. adolescents who spent ≥2 hours/week on non-active video gaming) randomly to an intervention group (n = 140) (receiving active video games and encouragement to play) or a waiting-list control group (n = 130). The intervention group received a PlayStation Move upgrade package to play the active video games -i.e. games that require physical activity to play- on a PlayStation 3 console in their homes and the following active video games were provided during the intervention: Sport Champions, Move Fitness, Start the Party and Medieval Moves, Dance Star Party and Sorcery. A detailed description of these Move video games can be found at:
Unexpectedly, the control group decreased significantly more than the intervention group in body mass index and sum of skinfolds. The intervention group had a significantly higher decrease in self-reported non-active video game time and total sedentary screen time  than the control group. 14% of the adolescents in the intervention group played the Move video games every week ≥1 hour/week during the whole intervention period.
Our study shows that proving adolescents who are not yet overweight with active video game consoles and games does not result in prevention of unnecessary weight gain in this group of non-active video gamers.