Merits of AHA & Nintendo Affiliation Debated

ABC News has a piece online which contains reactions to Nintendo’s just-announced partnership with the American Heart Association.

For starters, Nintendo did agree to pay the AHA $1.5 million dollars over three years in what was termed a “gift.” AHA President Dr. Clyde Yancy told ABC’s Health Editor Dr. Richard Besser that such corporate endeavors on the part of the AHA follow a “very deliberate process.”

 In regards to the dollars exchanging hands, Yancy stated, “Certainly resources have exchanged hands, because it takes quite a bit to launch a new initiative.” He added, “The logo’s not for sale.”

An Arizona-based doctor queried for his opinion on the deal took the approach that any exercise is better than none, offering, “I’m fully for encouraging children and adults to use interactive gaming and activity as a form of encouraging active behavior,” adding, “It’s hard to wolf down Cheetos when you have a Wii controller in your hand.”

Dr. Dilip Jeste, director of the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging served up his take on the partnership:

If a specialty organization believes that there is sufficient evidence of this type, it can recommend exergames as a class of products for specified purposes and in selected populations.

However, it should not recommend a specific product… unless there are independently conducted randomized controlled trials establishing its superiority over other types of exergames.

Last year, an American Council on Exercise study into the Wii as an exercise source resulted in a researcher indicating that Wii Sports was a better workout than Wii Fit.  The researcher stated, “I guess anything is better than nothing, but we were a little bit underwhelmed with the exercise intensity of some of the exercises. The Wii Fit is a very, very mild workout.”

Another study into actual energy expended while playing Wii Games caused the study’s author to state, “The range of energy expenditure in these active games is sufficient to prevent or to improve obesity and lifestyle-related disease, from heart disease and diabetes to metabolic diseases.”

Thanks Andrew!

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