CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

August 17, 2009 -

The Center for Disease Control reports that the average adult computer game addict is 35 years old.

According to The Telegraph, the CDC partnered with researchers from Emory and Andrews Universities on the study of more than 500 adults in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The results are not encouraging for gamers, with investigators finding correlations between video game play and health risks:

  • Female gamers reported greater depression and poorer health than non-gamers
  • Male gamers reported higher BMI (body mass index) than non-gamers
  • Gamers of both genders reported a higher than normal reliance on the Internet for social support

The CDC's Dr. James Weaver III commented on the data:

As hypothesized, health-risk factors specifically, a higher BMI and a greater number of poor mental-health days differentiated adult video-game players from non-players.

Video-game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns.

Internet community support and time spent online distinguished adult video-game players from non-players, a finding consistent with prior research pointing to the willingness of adult video-game enthusiasts to sacrifice real-world social activities to play video games.

The data illustrate the need for further research among adults to clarify how to use digital opportunities more effectively to promote health and prevent disease.

The research will be published in the October, 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, reports Medical News Today.


Comments

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Well, I'm curious as to why they even bother sometimes. This is just another correlation grouping and little else.

I'm a dysthymic (I think that's the right term) and it runs through part the family. I also am overweight, but a deep seated love of food runs through my family on both my parents sides, so that one was going to happen .

I am pretty much the only game 'addict' in the family, so please tell me, oh great CDC, did the video games make me fat and depressed, or did I go to the video games because I already was fat and depressed? Could it be that fat and depressed people turn to video games and the internet because they're an escape from a life of depressed obesity? I don't know, perhaps you schmucks are looking at things from the wrong angle again?

The world is filled with idiots who tell you how to live your life, and they can't even find their asses with both hands. Then people wonder why I'm such a sarcastic bastard. If I wasn't, I'd just be depressed.

 

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Shrug.  The CDC has to attempt to justify their existance.   I am curious though.  Where are the endless stacks of tests, the surveys, the questionaries?  ie Where is the proof? 

Would be akin to my (or any posting type here) claiming that those that work for the CDC are a bunch of noisy, nosey, busybodies that need to get a life.  True to a point, but does it matter? 

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

"People who live in Seattle are depressed" is news?  I'd be depressed too if I lived in a city where the sun only comes out for a quarter of the year.

Aside from which, the Telegraph article goes out of its way to sensationalize the results, adding the word "addict" when it doesn't appear in the original piece.  But the AJPM is a peer-reviewed publication who won't put up with that sort of crap, so their article will probably be more even-handed.  Hey, if it gets the lazy basement-dwellers who give the rest of us a bad public image to go outside once in a while, it's fine by me.  (Tho obviously I'd never accuse any of my fellow GP patrons of falling into the stereotype -- all of us are healthy, attractive, mentally sound individuals, right?) ;D

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Of course. Don't like something, try to get it declared a menta illness to enjoy it.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Exactly why do quacks insist that being a so-called "introvert" or "loner" automatically means you are a depressed and disturbed person.  Many people are perfectly happy in their own skin and don't need to have others affirm their worth or interest in the world. 

Some of the most emotionally unhealthy people I have ever known were quite extroverted- they needed drama in their lives to create a false sense of meaning.  The most peaceful, fulfilled persion I have ever met generally keeps to himself and is quiet...and he's perfectly happy.

This introvert=unhealthy rule that doctors, teachers, and pundits push is pure bullshit.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Correlation, correlation, correlation!  It's NOT causation!

"Female gamers reported greater depression and poorer health than non-gamers

Male gamers reported higher BMI (body mass index) than non-gamers

Gamers of both genders reported a higher than normal reliance on the Internet for social support"

also translates as...

Depressed females and those in poor health tend to play computer/video games

Fat people tend to play computer/video games

People who rely on the internet for social support tend to play computer/video games.

None of which is earth-shattering news.

Also, introversion is NOT A DISEASE, nor is it harmful, nor wrong, nor should it be changed into extroversion.  Changing an introvert into an extrovert is like changing a man into a woman - doing so is evidence of mental health issues on the part of the person desiring the change.

Finally, yes, I realise that I'm spelling 'extrovert' in an unusual way.  I do so because the idea that extroverts are 'EXTRAverts' is all part of the conspiracy, started by Jung, intended to proclaim extroversion as 'best' and demonize those of us who tend to prefer our own company to that of others.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

>Gamers of both genders reported a higher than normal reliance on the Internet for social support

If I like football, I can go to any number of stadia, or my local bar, where there will most likely be a game on the TV, whichever day I like- and there will be like-minded people there.

If I like music, I can go to any number of concerts or nightclubs dedicated to my chosen genre of music, whichever day I like- and there will be like-minded people there.

If I like films, I can go to the cinema, whichever day I like- and there will be like-minded people there.

If I like games, I can go to...

 

...oh.

Somehow I can't help but think that the percieved internet-reliance is much more to do with gamers being fewer in number, and thus unable to commercially support anything like the above, than any inherent desire to "sacrifice real-world social activities to play video games".

Is there any regular social gathering for purveyors of junk science? I think Dr. Weaver might enjoy it there.

/b

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

that is one thing that's always irked me, how is chatting with my guild in WoW (either in guild chat or on ventrilo) any freaking different or less social than sitting at my friends house because it's on the internet?

My mom has been the same way, but thankfuly she realizes by now that i don't care what she says about it and she should just be happy i don't drink, smoke, do anything bad, and pull 3.5 in college.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Because really, we all should believe the end results of a flawed psychology study that uses the even more flawed system of comparing people to a 19th Century Belgian quack who declared himself to be the best benchmark for healthy people while inventing something he called "social physics" whatever the hell that means.

Yes. No problems at all with any of that.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Quickly, lets use bullshit (the BMI) to sell more bullshit (That gamers are more unhealthy then other people).  There's no way this can fail! Or be seen though!

"If you really want to enslave people, tell them you are going to give them Total Freedom." - L. Ron Hubbard

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Why people use BMI? It might be the most broken system ever used.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I agree with you on that, I'm wondering why the military uses it to determan who gets in and who dosen't?

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

to tell you the truth alot of doctors say the BMI system is heavily flawed and should be replaced. its basically a math equation where ONLY your height and weight are used. the problem with this is that it doesnt say what your weight is made up of or how much of it is made up of fat or muscle.

for example lets say that 2 people are the exact same height and weight (lets say 5ft 4in 325lbs) one person is mostly fat mass and another is mostly muscle mass. the bmi would say they are both 55.8 and are both morbidly obese. so basically one person is morbidly fat and the other is morbidly muscled (if there is a such thing).

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Case in point: just going by the numbers alone, the entire English Rugby side should be dead. Twice.

/b

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I honestly have no idea, expecially since it's used for health and the person who originally made it wasnt trying to get health statistics out of it.

"If you really want to enslave people, tell them you are going to give them Total Freedom." - L. Ron Hubbard

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I'd guess because it's reasonably easy to calculate.  That's a general problem with social science studies...accuracy is blithely sacrificed for ease.  This would be understandable if the authors were more honest about sacrificing accuracy.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

It is kind of misleading, considering they specifically target people who are addicts or spend a majority of their times playing video games. ANY activities that require you sit around leads to similar results, so the entire research is quite frankly a waste of time. You'd better spend it to research fat people who eat too much.

*GASP* I must be on to something! Quick to the research mobile!

Re: CDC: RESEARCH Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Here's the thing: this guy can make the case that playing video games makes you fat and whatever. It's wrong, and stupid, but you can twist the facts.

Likewise, I could make up some BS and say that everybody who plays outside is going to get skin cancer.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

The fault is of the chairs.

Let's ban chairs! So noone can sit, so noone can be sedentary!

We can hire Jack Thompson to call a ban on chairs for us!

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Frankly, I expected much worse from this study AND from this article, considering this is the Telegraph. I was almost pleasantly surprised that authors (both of the study and of the article) kept a moderate tone. About the researchers, they want to try to "harness the potentially positive aspects of video games" (thus they recognize they have positive aspects) and "keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society" (thus they recognize they have a place in our society). About the article, although their title is curious (it has NOTHING in common with the body of the article !), it's not sensationalistic, or much less than I'm used to.

I'm not saying that I would applaud this study, though. First of all, 500 people isn't that much. In France, a poll about any subject usually gathers 1000 people. Actually, this study IS a poll on which they made some analysis, therefore its importance shouldn't be exagerated. Second of all, I'm not sure these researchers have much knowledge of video game medium, considering their stereotypical remark about "play-like activities". Anyway, which games, or game genres, did surveyed people play ? Are the results the same no matter what is played ? And although I'm glad that they recognize a place for video games in society, I wonder which one.

So, in conclusion, the researchers who conducted this study remain prudent and moderate, and there isn't too much sensationalism in the coverage of this study, at least not yet. I wouldn't trust it completely, but at least, it could spark a honest debate.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I've gained more weight from my job then from video games (true story).  

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Indeed.  Get addicted to something that involves sitting around all day and you'll end up fat.  Big whoop.

I don' t think they're saying that games make you fat.. they're saying the addiction does, and as you say it applies equally to TV addiction.

 

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Kids who are addicted to too much TV are also more likely to be fat and depressed - this was actually a study done at Johns Hopkins. While it seems like a massive waste of money to study this stuff, it's actually helpful information for pediatricians who can show it to parents to scare them into making their kids exercise.

Pera - http://www.wowaholics.org

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

to scare parents? that by definition is propaganda

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

How about if I was fat and depressed befor video games?

Speakign of fat I need to get back on thyroid meds I went up 50LB(320) since I went off it......


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I think my favorite thing is that, while they don't outright say that there is a causal link between video games and these health issues, they certainly imply it. Hell, I've gained more weight based on who I was dating than I have playing video games.

It really doesn't sound like they took any subject history into account before coming up with their conclusion. Some people weren't social BEFORE they became gamers. It just sounds like they came up with a hypothesis, did the cursory questionaire, concluded that the hypothesis was correct and called it a day. But I guess I should really wait for the study to be published before I jump to any conclusions.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

"Video game players sacrifice real world activities to play game."

??????

Is this really suprising to some people. It is a form of entertainment, most 'real world activites' are sources of entertainment.

Ultimately, I am more disappointed with the CDC than anything else. It isn't like there aren't any actual fucking diseases that still need to be researched and cured or anything of that nature. No, the only real problem is fat people playing video games.

You know what else causing a higher BMI? Shift work. You will never see a campaign to eliminate that though.

"

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Hmmm, talk about not considering the monetary costs of going out and "being social."  I figure that paying $15 a month for a WoW subscription saves me a lot of money compared to a constant dinner/movie social cycle.  Hell, I even purchase my beer so I can drink at home and save some cash since the costs of two pints is about the cost of a six pack.

I think the researchers need to figure out the economic impact of a down economy and the increasing costs of "social activities" before they malign video game players.  As it was said in South Park, it's the first law of physics that anything that's fun costs at least $8.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

to tell you the truth alot of doctors say the BMI system is heavily flawed and should be replaced. its basically a math equation where ONLY your height and weight are used. the problem with this is that it doesnt say what your weight is made up of or how much of it is made up of fat or muscle.

for example lets say that 2 people are the exact same height and weight (lets say 5ft 4in 325lbs) one person is mostly fat mass and another is mostly muscle mass. the bmi would say they are both 55.8 and are both morbidly obese. so basically one person is morbidly fat and the other is morbidly muscled (if there is a such thing).

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I would love to see a 5'4" fat guy and muscular guys that weight 325 pounds! Especially the muscular one because I'm sure I've seen the fat version before.. That much muscle on someone that height would be scary.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

it was an example but with steroids maybe......

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Well.... low standards for the BMI to make more people seem fat is not helping much....


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

"

Dr Brian Primack, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, suggests that many video games are different enough from original forms of play that they may be better defined as "play-like activities."

He said: "There are noteworthy differences between the oldest forms of play - for example chase games - and today's 'play-like activities.'

"These play-like activities may stimulate the right centres of the brain to be engaging.

"However, the differences between today's 'play-like activities' and original forms of play may illuminate some of the observed health-related correlates discovered."

Dr. Primack said the greatest challenge will be maintaining the balance.

He added: "How do we simultaneously help the public steer away from imitation play-like activities, harness the potentially positive aspects of video games, and keep in perspective the overall place of video games in our society?

"There are massive, powerful industries promoting many play-like activities. And industry giants that can afford to will successfully tout the potential benefits of health-related products they develop.

"But who will be left to remind us that for children and adults alike Hide-And-Seek and Freeze Tag are still probably what we need most?" "

 

Here's the thing:

Computer/video games provide a level of imaginative design and display that cannot be done in real life.

Frankly, you'll find a lot of demonization when adults simply try to play hide and seek and Freeze Tag. 

Adults trying to play games with kids are demonized as "perverts" and must want some other inappropriate contact.  While adults playing sports together is seen as "appropriate", actually "playing" sets off a great deal social stigma.

Adults have tried to make more adult friendly versions of such games.  Lazer tag for older teens and paintball for young to middle aged adults.  Even then, however, a stigma arises from such activities.

Apparently, the CDC and these so-called professionals don't bother to take these, and other such factors, into consideration.

Did they, for example, examine each of the individuals who became "addicts" for what their self-esteem was like BEFORE they became "addicts"?  Were these individuals already socially isolated by negative treatment by various parts of their community, driving them, not to social isolation from the "real world" to the internet, but to socail AWAKENING, where they may actually have better contact and treatment by others in that community than they do their offline community?

Did the CDC and the so-called professionals automatically assume the depression was related to being online?  Did they bother to evaluate whether the depression, in fact was directed to their offline lives and the depression actually LESSENED while they were online?

As usual, this "study" proves to be incompetently performed, incomplete, and clearly biased.  Even THEY admitted they went in with assumptions and, going in with those assumptions, the interpretations they made led to the results they expected to find.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

My standard grumble has to do with this.

One of the patterns I see over and over is a social desire to take introverts, omegas, and other such people, who have actually found some sembalnce of social life on the internet and inject them back into the 'real world'.

This is often touted as 'for their own good', but to me it feels like something differnt.  It is parents of alpha children decrying that thier little darlings don't have as many people to be superiour too.  How are they supposed to know they are wonderful if they don't have dregs to look down on?  How dare those inferrior children (and adults) shutter themselves away where they can't be mocked?

When I have watched parents complain, it is never the parents of the withdrawn children that are crying to get kids out and about (and involved with school social activities), it is the parents of the extroverted 'star' children who are not finding enough 'leadership oppurtunities' with thier classmates.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

As a proud loner, I often see the prejudice of the extrovert majority.  The simple truth is, extroverts don't understand introverts, so they demonize every activity they like to engage in - unless it's something extroverts like.

Also, ever notice how serial killers are demonized as loners when they're usually nothing of the sort?  The Columbine shooters, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, the Unabomber - all described as 'loners', but all were actually frustrated extroverts.  Loners don't usually crave attention like the Unabomber, John Wayne Gacy or the Columbine school shooters did.  Loners don't need to control others like Ted Bundy did.  These are attributes of extroverted people.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

As a proud loner, I often see the prejudice of the extrovert majority.  The simple truth is, extroverts don't understand introverts, so they demonize every activity they like to engage in - unless it's something extroverts like.

Likewise, how some introvert activities are considered "nerdy". I don't consider "nerdy" to describe an activity. I see "nerdy" as a degree of devotion. Having nerd knowledge is possible in any kind of hobby, not just games or comic books. Many people that follow mainstream trends have nerd knowledge of celebrities, movies, or sports stars.

GameSnooper

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

but...I don't mind begin seen as a gun toting anti social pervert...


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

I do.  I hate that everyone sees me as some sort of pyschopath that could go off at any moment.  They watch me for any and every sign to run away as fast as they can.  Bah, I am not like that!  I'm more of a ninja Hannibal, like I'd give them time to run!  (for those of you who take everything serious, that was a joke).

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

The only thing truthfull in the sentance aboe is me being a pervert.

 

oh wait.... :P


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

....I call bullshit.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

You could at least explain why you think it's bullshit. 

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

This is completely unrelated to the topic, but your sig is awesome.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Wow! Computer-friendly people use the Internet socially more often..

Who'd have thought?

As for the overweight stuff, strange, I'm a gamer AND a programmer, by the stereotype, I shouldn't be able to leave my bedroom without getting the door-frame widened, and yet my BMI is very slightly below average for my height...

 

I can understand the idea that people who use computers aren't as active, but once again, the problem is sedentary lifestyles, not computers, doesn't matter why you are being sedentary, Computer games do not add calories to your diet.

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Glad to see the CDC continuing to put out great research and information. 

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

especially since this has very little, if anything, to do with diseases

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: CDC: Adult Game Addicts are Fat and Depressed

Oh, they love to branch out, even when they can't really predict diseases (H1N1 anybody?  Where was that big pandemic?) or the patterns they'll spread over. During the Clinton years, they branched out into 'gun statistic' research, as did some medical journals.  Of course, their numbers were very interesting and reflected very little of the reality of accidental gun discharges in the home, which pleased the Brady Campaign to no end.  Basically, this is more of the same. Maybe if, instead of doing this, they did some research into how diseases spread through the US, they'd be useful and deserving of that assload of tax money they have.  As it is, they're basically a depository of samples of terrible diseases.

 
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