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Medicine Television

Study Shows TV Makes Kids Fat, Computers Don't 276

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-pass-the-cheetos dept.
Xemu writes "Computers don't make children fat, but watching TV for the same length of time does. This is shown by a recent Swedish study of all school children in Lund's county conducted by RN Pernilla Garmy. The results were clear: The child's obesity was directly affected by placing a TV in the child's room, but placing a computer in the room had no effect at all. One theory is that it's common to have a snack in front of the TV, while a computer requires a more active user, for example when chatting or playing games."
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Study Shows TV Makes Kids Fat, Computers Don't

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  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:45AM (#31425982) Homepage

    The article is likely correct about the snacks and food. Also, no offense intended to anyone, but I've noticed that people who just zone out to television as compared to active computer users/gamers tend to be a bit...dumber.

    Yes yes, I know, a generalization...but in my experience, it's the truth.

  • "Active"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IBBoard (1128019) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:48AM (#31426012) Homepage

    One theory is that it's common to have a snack in front of the TV, while a computer requires a more active user, for example when chatting or playing games.

    Yeah, because sitting there and typing or moving the mouse is huge amounts of activity! I can eat a bag of M&Ms and drink coke while coding, and I'm sure there are plenty who can scoff pizza, coke and crisps without a problem!

    You've got to lick your fingers well to make sure that you don't leave a mess on your keyboard, but other than that the computer "activity" isn't that much of an obstacle for eating.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:48AM (#31426022) Homepage

    Personally, I've noticed the same thing, and I think it's because of the interaction. A television simply feeds you information, and you accept it. That makes you quite adept at just accepting information. In contract, a computer, even used for only playing games, requires some critical thought to decide what to do next.

  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:56AM (#31426122)
    I found that I get caught up in the computer and what I'm working on and forget to stop and eat. When I get really focused on my work I'll forget to stop and eat and when I'm playing a new game I may only eat once a day for the first weekend.
  • by Krneki (1192201) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:59AM (#31426176)

    I found that I get caught up in the computer and what I'm working on and forget to stop and eat. When I get really focused on my work I'll forget to stop and eat and when I'm playing a new game I may only eat once a day for the first weekend.

    A CIV player.

  • by CyberSlugGump (609485) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:03AM (#31426234)
    How many ads for fast food, soft drinks, candy bar, restaurants, etc. do you see during an hour of watching TV versus during an hour of using the computer? Food cues might play a strong role, too.
  • Re:"Active"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:05AM (#31426248)

    I could see Computers have having three distinct benefits over TV.

    1) Moving the mouse and typing is more active then moving your thumb to change channels

    2) Playing video games is more physically involved then watching TV. I care about how my character does so my body reacts in a similar manner as though I were getting exercise; heart racing, mild sweating, muscles tightening, etc... Albeit this isn't on the same level as if I were outside playing ball, but I still get a bit more of a workout then if I was watching something mildly or not particularly interesting on TV.

    3) When I am eating or drinking while playing video games; I see computer interaction more engaging and thus kind of like putting down your fork between bites during a meal. You eat slower and digest what's eaten better. When watching TV it's easy to have one hand on the remote while the other is in a bag of chips or popcorn.

    Of course this is my own opinion and based on my own experiences. I've only heard that putting your fork down between bites is good for loosing weight, I don't have a reference.

  • Re:"Active"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fozzyuw (950608) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:09AM (#31426298)

    You've got to lick your fingers well to make sure that you don't leave a mess on your keyboard, but other than that the computer "activity" isn't that much of an obstacle for eating.

    Which is exactly why most coders don't eat and code at the same time. Yes, some do, but most have learned it's just not worth it for obvious reasons.

    And I can agree that gaming on a PC does make one think less of food and eat less. I found myself eating less playing games than even not playing games.

  • by 3.5 stripes (578410) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:14AM (#31426370)

    The fact that celery is a calorie negative food still doesn't make up for the fact that nutella is fat and sugar with chocolate and hazelnut flavor.

    I dunno if it's worse than peanut butter, but healthy it isn't.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by beh (4759) * on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:14AM (#31426380)

    That coming from a computer user - I bet, most people zoning out in front of the TV will object to your analysis... ...likely even claim, that zoning out in front of the TV teaches you more than zoning out in front of World of Warcraft... ;-)

    Neither would automatically be right, but it's just the reflex action assuming it's the other side who is the more stupid one.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 2names (531755) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:15AM (#31426396)
    That is EXACTLY the idea. "They" want to be able to feed information to you 24x7 wherever you are through your little mobile device that has your credit card number stored so you can instantly buy whatever crap "they" are currently selling. I do not like where this road takes us.
  • by Em Emalb (452530) <(ememalb) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:20AM (#31426460) Homepage Journal

    Agreed. It's not the tv making them fat. It's the fat that makes them fat.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lueseiseki (1189513) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:45AM (#31426798)
    I don't think he's trying to imply that every person that communicates with computers is "smart".

    I think he's trying to say that since the computer is an open platform for many different applications, ie. games, web chat, web browsing, media editing, it requires more thought on what to do and how to do it. In contrast, one of the biggest concerns while watching TV might be whether to watch channel 231 or 452.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:47PM (#31427646)
    It might be simpler than that. Watching TV your hands are free to shovel food into your mouth. Using the computer, at least one hand is busy. (I was thinking of the mouse, you perv!)
  • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:17PM (#31428032) Homepage Journal

    A television simply feeds you information, and you accept it.

    So do books, but books don't make you fat.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @03:53PM (#31430032)

    Books tend to replace food that would be in your hands. This is especially true of books with spines so rigid that they barely open 90 degrees.

    Besides, they share a feature that computers have too. Getting food bits on the mouse and keys is as annoying as gumming up pages and dropping crumbs all over it.

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