Friday, February 18, 2011

Does IT Time Predict BMI in children and adolescents? (Study)

video game night, invasion from space #1Image by gnackgnackgnack via FlickrDoes the time spent using Information Technology (IT) like using the computer, playing video games, and cell phone use predict BMI in children and adolescents? In a new study by Linda Jackson and Colleagues at MSU surveyed more than 400 children and adolescents (mean age 14 years old) over three years and found that IT and video game playing time did not predict BMI as other studies have indicated.  

Other results

  • The more a participant played video games the better their visual-spatial skills were - which makes sense from all the work done especially in Dr. Bavelier's Lab in Rochester
  • Jackson et al found also found that video game playing time also predicted lower GPA which is interesting given the renewed interest in using serious games.  I suppose the biggest difference is that I assume none (few) of the games these participants played were serious games, educational simulators, or exergames. 
  • Children who played videogames more had lower social self-esteem and grades than those who played videogames less.
Jackson, L., von Eye, A., Fitzgerald, H., Witt, E., & Zhao, Y. (2011). Internet use, videogame playing and cell phone use as predictors of children’s body mass index (BMI), body weight, academic performance, and social and overall self-esteem Computers in Human Behavior, 27 (1), 599-604 DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.10.019

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