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Exergaming and obesity in youth: current perspectives

Authors Zeng N, Gao Z

Received 30 May 2016

Accepted for publication 30 June 2016

Published 4 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 275—284

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S99025

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Nan Zeng, Zan Gao

College of Education and Human Development, School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Abstract: Although exergaming has been used as a physical activity modality among various populations, the evidence regarding its effectiveness on health-related outcomes in overweight/obese individuals remains unclear. The current study systematically reviewed literature and summarized findings of exergame-based interventions in overweight/obese populations with the goal of clarifying the current perspectives on exergaming and obesity. The initial search yielded 202 articles from six databases; 12 studies were included after evaluating for inclusion criteria and removing duplicates. Among these studies, seven were randomized controlled trials, two were control trials, and three were comparison studies. Overall, exergaming has the potential to attenuate weight gain and shows promise when used for physical activity and physical fitness promotion. Further, exergame play is positively associated with psychological well-being, but its effects on physiological outcomes are inconclusive. Finally, effects of exergaming on energy intake are not clear. Existing evidence supports that exergaming may elicit some health benefits in people who are overweight or/and obese. The limited number of available randomized controlled trials, however, restrict the ability to draw a conclusion that exergaming can trigger a change in all health-related outcomes. More research is warranted to make definitive conclusions regarding the effects of exergaming on health-related outcomes in such populations.

Keywords: active video game, weight loss, children and adolescents, systematic review

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