Study Shows Gamers are Fat, Unhappy, and Middle-Aged

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News Posted: Wed, Aug 19 2009 10:03 AM
A new study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrews University concludes that the average age of video-gamers in the U.S. is in the range 35–54. It also says that those gamers are fat, and miserable, though differences exist across genders.

With regards to the weighty "fat" conclusion, it's unclear if those surveyed had Nintendo Wiis with "exergaming" titles or not.

The study, "Health-Risk Correlates of Video-Game Playing Among Adults," published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, analyzed data from 552 adults in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The subjects ranged in age from 19 to 90. About 45% of respondents said they played video games often.

Female video-game players reported greater depression and lower health status than female nonplayers. Male video-game players reported higher BMI and more Internet use time than male nonplayers. Both female and male video-game players show greater reliance on the Internet for social support.

The study was conducted in 2006, but results were not analyzed until 2008. The theory had already been posited that video gamers wouldn't be as healthy as non-gamers, and that's what seems to have been the result of the study. Dr. James B Weaver III, PhD, MPH, National Center for Health Marketing, CDC, Atlanta, writes in the article:
"As hypothesized, health-risk factors – specifically, a higher BMI and a greater number of poor mental-health days – differentiated adult video-game players from nonplayers. 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 nonplayers, 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."
To translate the above: video gamers are fat, depressed, introverts, and prefer to play video games as opposed to real-life interaction with people.  A sad combination, to be sure.

However, as we said earlier, the health-related consequences of video gaming are different depending on gender. Since the study noted that women gamers are more depressed than non-gamers, the researchers suggest that women gamers may be self-medicating, essentially "forgetting their troubles" during the game.

On the other hand, men suffer more from issues with higher body-mass indices or BMI (translation: they're fat) and isolation issues, and thus prefer to play video games with a social aspect (MMORPGs?).  This, according to researchers, also and tends to demonstrate that the association among sedentary behaviors, physical inactivity, and overweight status observed in children and young adults may extend into adulthood.

Since the health-related effects of video-gaming on people differs depending on gender, the researchers suggested that interventions be differentiate by sex. Naturally, they also stated that more research needs to be done.

Why the Seattle-Tacoma area? According to the researchers, both because of its size as the 13th largest media market in the United States and because its Internet usage level is "the highest in the nation."
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maedondias replied on Wed, Aug 19 2009 11:48 AM

I feel Wikipedia explains it best.

"Beginning with Microsoft's 1979 move from Albuquerque, New Mexico to nearby Bellevue, Washington,[50] Seattle and its suburbs became home to a number of technology companies including, RealNetworks, McCaw Cellular (now part of AT&T Mobility), VoiceStream (now T-Mobile USA), and biomedical corporations such as HeartStream (later purchased by Philips), Heart Technologies (later purchased by Boston Scientific), Physio-Control (later purchased by Medtronic), ZymoGenetics, ICOS (later purchased by Eli Lilly and Company) and Immunex (later purchased by Amgen)."

That mixed with Vista going Beta/RC/RTM back in 2006. I think they surveyed Microsoft.

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Aug 20 2009 12:40 AM

Say it ain't so!

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I have to dissagree with this to a point. Me and my girlfriend both play team fortress 2 a lot. We are both members of the same clan. We both do are part and the social aspect is huge. She is on "council" there which is like the government I suppose. She and others on council decide among the people that applied who will get in and things like changes to the 7 server we run among other things. 

Me I don't make as many decisions, but I play comps. I am above average, but not near the best out there, but overall the clan does well. We are in 2b in 6v6 in the The TWL league if anyone cares.

Anyway we take are games seriously and I would consider us solid hardcore gamers. We are both in well shape and from the looks of the pics thread at our forums most of the people there are thin and in shape. We have all sizes there, but I wouldn't say that it is above the average level. 

I am on the computer a lot, but I don't sit there all day. I work 40 hours + a week and work out regularly. I could see how sitting in front of a computer all day could kill your body though. For a while I had a crappy chair and had bad back problems. I go a nice $100ish chair that was recommended to me and I am cured of that. 

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Aug 20 2009 1:29 PM

>The study was conducted in 2006, but results were not analyzed until 2008.

WHAT?!? They let us be fat, unhappy, and middle-aged for three years before telling us? Well! If I could write I'd write a nasty letter to my congressman, if he could read!

Don't worry, Bob, they weren't studying you. One of the nice things about the Fundamental Attribution Error is that in a study like this you can validly claim to be a statistical outlier. It would take at least 300 samples to seriously impact the data; that's you and 299 girlfriends.

And if you had that kind of population to sample from, I kinda doubt you'd be fat and unhappy. Middle-aged? We're still working on that one.

"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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vistaa replied on Fri, Aug 21 2009 5:18 PM

here is a great info............keep it up.good job man thanks.


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digitaldd replied on Mon, Aug 24 2009 10:08 AM

Where are the FragDolls when you need them?

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Dev replied on Wed, Aug 26 2009 8:11 PM

The causation correlation argument is old as the egg and chicken. What part of the study showed that video games caused a sedentary lifestyle as opposed to video games attracting fat middle aged men with no social life. 

And as the guy above Davo mentioned what about the location they took this sample from it is tech central for the North West. 

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millie replied on Fri, Apr 2 2010 11:45 AM

(sarcastic tone of voice:) Wooow, I dont' think I could've come to that conclusion all by myself. The verrry clever scientist says "women gamers may be self-medicating, essentially "forgetting their troubles" during the game." He must be right because nobody EVER does any recreational activity in order to forget troubles. I mean, while I'm playing sports, I make sure to keep my troubles firmly in mind. You do too, right? Also, the right thing to do if you have troubles is to medicate, right? Oh, and the entire country is just like Seattle, right? Sounds like a freshman paper written at 3 AM to me. I give it a D+.

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Apr 2 2010 12:57 PM

Personally I'm a gamer myself and I'm not fat. They fail to take in that some of us exercise and maintain a slim figure, but they know we're still unhappy inside.


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Please don't bump 8-9 month old threads millie

Also im a pc gamer and im not fat or unhappy at all :P im still young too! lol


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My friends and I, fellow gamers, have started a website in hopes of reversing this trend - its called The Fit Gamers and we're all about reversing the trend of obesity when dealing with gamers. Come visit us -

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