Have video games changed children's health?
For the longest time, video games were blamed for allowing children to be inactive, hence leading to obesity. Video games could be so addictive that instead of playing outside and getting some physical activity, children spend all their free time just sitting in one place and playing games. They not only become inactive, but their bodies start craving unhealthy food. It is a viscous cycle. Then video games that showed violent behavior became popular and many children began displaying antisocial behaviors and began to isolate themselves from interaction with other people.
Video gaming is just something that most kids do these days. It became so difficult to break the video habit that some schools have developed ways to turn the addiction to their advantage.
Tom Baranowski, a Houston-based pediatric, studied the behavior of students associated with playing video games and unhealthy physical attributes and concluded that video games can actually help children be in better health - provided they are given the right games to play.
They developed a game that children could play during school hours. It covered their own curriculum so they are familiar with the material. Fourth graders played a game called “Squire’s Quest” twice a week, for five weeks. The study showed that the children actually began adding at least one fruit or vegetable to their diet.
Then they developed more games that associated food choices and exercises and their effects on the body. The finding of this study was even more impressive than the first game they introduced about fruits and vegetables.
Introducing the right games, children can actually become healthier. It may be an expensive learning tool but with the right sponsors and developers, this could be really develop into something great!