Video games have long been blamed for childhood obesity, but encouraging kids to drop one type of controller for another can help them fight fat, an expert said Thursday.
Speaking at the Saskatchewan Interactive Media Association (SaskInteractive) Summit, public health Dr. Ernie Medina Jr. of Redlands, California, said "exergaming" -- playing video games that require a physical element -- allows youth who may not otherwise participate in physical activity find a way to be active. Children who enjoy playing traditional video games also like interactive games, such as Dance Dance Revolution and game-bike programs, he said. What's more, the kids lose weight while challenging themselves and having fun.
"The heart doesn't care if you're running on that pad playing a video game or you're outside running around the block, all it knows is you're doing something and it's got to pump more blood and oxygen to those muscles," Medina said. "(The heart) isn't judgmental on what the medium is; it just knows you're working hard."