West Virginia, which has the worst childhood obesity problem in the United States, is stepping up plans to use Konami Corp.'s "Dance Dance Revolution" to battle the bulge in its schools.
The state, which plans to put the popular dancing video game in every one of its public schools, said on Wednesday research suggested that it helped put a halt to weight gain.
Preliminary results from a 24-week study of 50 overweight or obese children, aged 7 to 12, showed that those who played the game at home for at least 30 minutes five days per week maintained their weight and saw a reduction in some risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
The study's control group included a dozen children who did not play the game for the first 12 weeks, then did so for remainder of the study period. Those children piled on an average of 6 pounds during the first portion of the study but saw their weight stabilize in the second half.