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Electronic Games Linked to Child Obesity

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PHILADELPHIA, Jun 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. and Swiss researchers said Wednesday they have found a strong association between playing electronic video games and childhood obesity.

The researchers, at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University Hospital Zurich, also found obesity was associated with television watching, paternal smoking and mother's working outside the home.

"The goal of this study was to identify environmental and behavioral factors, in particular type and duration of sedentary activities, associated with obesity in children living in Switzerland," said Dr. Nicolas Stettler, a pediatric nutrition specialist and the primary investigator.

"To our knowledge this study provides the strongest evidence for an independent association between time spent playing electronic games and childhood obesity. Our findings suggest that the use of electronic games should be limited to prevent childhood obesity."

The team studied 872 children in first, second, and third grades enrolled in 10 schools in northeastern Switzerland.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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