Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Are video games making your teen eat more?

Mike Cherim/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Adolescent boys will eat more while playing video games, regardless of their appetite, according to new Canadian-led research.

The research, published earlier this month in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sheds new light on the links between gaming and obesity - namely that it's the eating, not just the inactivity, that helps makes a gamer fat.

Led by Jean-Philippe Chaput of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, the researchers had 22 "normal-weight" teenage boys play video games for an hour, and in another instance, simply sit for an hour. Then they watched them eat lunch.

Story continues below advertisement

The boys ate significantly more while gaming than sitting, even though they were no more hungry, the researchers observed.

In addition, surveys completed by all the boys revealed that gamers consumed 163 calories more a day.

"The increase in food intake associated with video game play was observed without increased sensations of hunger and was not compensated for during the rest of the day," the authors wrote.

Do the findings surprise you? Or has your pantry been routinely raided by Mortal Kombat-loving teens?

Report an error
About the Author

Zosia More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.