Computer games may be turning your child obese

Computer games may be turning your child obese

Researchers have found that teenage boys consumed an extra 80 calories after playing computer games for an hour compared to those who did not, the Daily Mail reported Saturday.

Experts believe this may explain why children who spend hours on games are often obese - it's not just because they don’t exercise. Researchers, studying a group of 17-year-old boys who rested for one hour and played computer games for another hour the following day, collected blood samples every 10 minutes during each hour.

They also measured how many calories they were burning off by asking them to breath into a machine meant to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Once the hour of rest and hour of playing computer games was up, the teenagers were offered a plate of spaghetti.

The Canadian and Danish researchers, who conducted the study,  found that the boys burnt off just 21 extra calories during the hour they played computer games compared to resting. But they ate an extra 80 calories later - nearly 60 more than they would have burnt off.

It meant that if a teenager played computer games for three hours a day, he would eat 180 more calories than needed, and over time would put on weight. The World Health Organisation has named computer games as the single biggest cause of childhood obesity.