American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting
American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting
Source/Disclosures
Source: Moore DG, et al. Do dietary patterns differ with video game usage in college men? Presented at: Nutrition 2020 Live Online; June 1-4, 2020 (virtual meeting).
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
June 01, 2020
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College men who play video games have unhealthier diets

Source/Disclosures
Source: Moore DG, et al. Do dietary patterns differ with video game usage in college men? Presented at: Nutrition 2020 Live Online; June 1-4, 2020 (virtual meeting).
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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College-aged men who played video games consumed less healthier foods than their nongaming peers, according to data presented at Nutrition 2020 Live Online.

The explosive growth of the video game industry requires an understanding how it affects users’ health and lifestyle, Dustin G. Moore, graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, told Healio Primary Care.

College-aged men who played video games consumed less healthier foods than their nongaming peers, according to data presented at Nutrition 2020 Live Online.

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“Video game usage has been studied extensively in children and adolescence, less in adults, and to our knowledge not at all in college students,” he said. “Because college students are presented with a unique experience compared to other adults and children, it is important to understand how video game users in this specific population behave.”

Researchers analyzed male college students’ diet (n =1,095), percentage of body fat (n = 1,060), and BMI and waist circumference (n = 786). Among the entire cohort, 30.5% did not play video games, 39.4% played moderately (less than 1 hour daily) and 30.1% played heavily (at least 1 hour daily). Students recorded the food they ate over 2 weekdays and 1 nonconsecutive weekend day.

Moore and colleagues reported that moderate and heavy video game users consumed more saturated fat (30.1 g and 29.9 g, respectively; P < .002) than nonusers (28.2 g; P < .02). There was also more salt consumed by moderate game users than nonusers (3,957 mg vs. 3,701 mg; P < .001). Heavy video game users ate more discretionary calories than nonusers (759 kcal vs. 693 kcal; P < .003).

Dustin Moore
Dustin G. Moore

Further, moderate and heavy video game users at less fruits and vegetables (2.96 cups and 3.01 cups, respectively; P < .001) than nonusers (3.43 cups; P < .01). There were no significant differences in alcohol consumption, sugar, total dietary fat and waist circumferences among the entire cohort.

“This is a concerning finding because previous research has shown that lifestyle habits in early adulthood tend to continue later in life,” Jesse S. Morrell, PhD, principal lecturer for the nutrition program at the University of New Hampshire, said in an interview. “If these poor lifestyle habits continue, this population will be at higher risk for obesity and chronic disease.”

Jesse Morrell
Jesse S. Morrell

In a press release, Moore and Morrell said future studies should follow up with study participants to determine whether their habits and body weights changed as they aged. Researchers could also analyze whether video game advertisements or the gaming media used had contributed to the findings. - by Janel Miller

Reference:

  • Moore DG, et al. Do dietary patterns differ with video game usage in college men? Presented at: Nutrition 2020 Live Online; June 1-4, 2020 (virtual meeting).