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Comment and Response |

Are Active Video Games Useful in Increasing Physical Activity and Addressing Obesity in Children?

Adrian Bauman, MBBS, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM1; Rona Macniven, MSc1
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1School of Public Health, Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(7):676-677. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2418.
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To the Editor A recent article1 in this journal examined the energy expenditure of active video games (AVGs). It provided a rationale for AVGs, which are thought to increase adolescents’ physical activity and contribute to obesity prevention. This small study (N = 18 adolescents aged 11-15 years) examined the energy expenditure of 2 AVGs. One AVG reached “moderate intensity” and another, only light intensity levels of energy expenditure, but both demonstrated greater energy expended than playing a sedentary video game. This study repeats the findings of many similar studies2 and now reviews and meta-analyses3 over the last few years demonstrating a short-term increase in energy expenditure. However, from a public health perspective, is this kind of AVG intervention really likely to produce population-level improvements in the established risks of inactivity and obesity among adolescents?

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July 1, 2013
Stephen R. Smallwood, MSc; Michael M. Morris, PhD; Stephen J. Fallows, PhD; John P. Buckley, PhD
1Department of Clinical Science, University of Chester, Chester, England
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(7):678. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2421.
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