Are you a fatty with a mouthful of rotten choppers? Then you might be a video gamer. A pair of studies released recently name games as a cause of both poor dental health and childhood obesity.
The more important of the studies is from the World Health Organization. The WHO claims that a third of kids across the world are obese. The cause: A sedentary lifestyle. Apparently, only a quarter of boys and 15 percent of girls get enough exercise.
The WHO names video games as one reason kids aren't running around and riding their bikes enough. Instead, according to the report, kids are “spending three hours or more per day watching TV, playing computer games, or chatting with friends online”.
It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, either. “With regards to physical activity levels, we did not find much of a difference between poor and rich countries,” the report said . “Growing up in a poor country does not necessarily mean that kids get more physical activity.”
The second study comes from the University of Iowa. The research on teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16 years old indicated gamers are more than twice as likely to develop tooth decay as those with more active lifestyles. Obviously games themselves don't cause cavities, instead, blame the sugary snacks and lack of discipline--the kids who are least likely to have dental problems are kids with a more structured meal schedule.
The research doesn't really indicate this, but I'm going to make a logical leap here and posit that the kids who have the most cavities are the kids who have the least disciplined households in general, and that playing games a lot is an effect of lax parenting rather than a cause of tooth problems.
Kids who live in houses where no one cares when they eat or what they do with their time are (I think) more likely to scarf down a couple packs of Sour Patch Kids and Pizza Rolls and play Metal Gear Solid than kids whose parents are on top of schedules and discipline. If your mom insists you make it to soccer practice, you're likely not going to be as chunky, too. Also: If parents are lax enough to let their children play games for six hours a day, they are probably less concerned about tooth-brushing at bedtime.
The moral of the story: Games are fun, but brush your teeth and ride your bike once in a while too.
Source: Wales Online