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Videogames Can Be Good: Fight Childhood Diabetes and Obesity
Eitan D. Schwarz MD -- ZillyDilly for iPad Eitan D. Schwarz MD -- ZillyDilly for iPad
Friday, December 17, 2010

According to a study recently reported from Baylor University, children who played 6 hours of videogames that aimed at health-promoting dietary choices ended up 2 months later eating more fruit and vegetables. While many research findings often give bad news about the unrestricted use of technology by children, this report shows how this powerful medium can definitely help kids .

"Parents need to become empowered and educated and have tools to become effective managers of kids' home media consumption, much as they manage food consumption. Parents must actively manage content. Restriction alone is just not enough," according to Dr. S. "Parents need confidence. At MyDigitalFamily, we try to give parents a new child- and family-centered medical, psychological, esthetic, and moral framework and tools to use when they make media-related decisions for their kids," states Dr. Schwarz. Please, See www.mydigitalfamily.org for more.

Educational videogames are being developed by a number of firms, with the help of federal grants. The video games in this study were developed by Houston's Armitage, Inc. to lower risks of type 2 diabetes and obesity by changing overweight 10-12 youth's diet and physical activity behaviors (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, http://www.ajpm-online.net/article/S0749-3797(10)00554-4/abstract .)

"Parents will have more and more choices of media content to select for their kids. There are many opportunities for healthy growth through online resources, if only parents would find and harvest them and place them in front of kids. I hope that more and more beneficial uses for child health-promoting digital media will become available," states Eitan Schwarz, MD, Illinois child and family psychiatrist and author of "Kids. Parents & Technology: A Guide for Young Families."


Lynda O'Connor
(847) 615-5462