Kids and Interactive Video Games

Posted by Admin on March 16, 2007

Step inside the living room of the Nitzberg family and you'll notice that it looks more like a workout session than family t.v. time. "You are just jumping all over, and your arms are flying widely" says 12 year old Maya Nitzberg. "I like boxing a lot because you are going backwards and you're punching a lot, and blocking," says 10 year old Sam Nitzberg.

Major toy and technology companies continue to invent interactive video games that are promising to turn your kid from couch potato to active moving, jumping, swinging, game player. "We are up off the couch, no longer are we sitting around just pressing buttons, people are playing Wii boxing and actually losing weight, kids are no longer wasting away, sitting around button pressing, they are playing tennis, they are actually bowling, they are playing baseball," says Amber McCollom of Nintendo of America.

But, while these new interactive games continue to fly off the shelves, medical experts caution parents. 201CThirty percent of our kids are overweight, and we're not talking about morbidly obese, we're talking about overweight, which is very very significant. It is encouraging them to be more physically active, that can%u2019t hurt but, on the other hand my concern is it may be getting them more and more addicted to video games,201D explains weight loss specialist, Dr. Ibrahim Ibrahim of Englewood Hospital.

Dr. Ibrahim says "parental supervision plays a critical role. And, when it comes to using these interactive games as fitness tools, whether or not kids will really benefit and get into shape has yet to be determined. %u201CThe concept is good and accurate and correct, whether it is going to work out that way I am not sure, I don't think we have enough studies or track records to say this is what is going to happen,%u201D" says Dr. Ibrahim.

Other 201Cexergames%u201D as they%u2019re often referred to, include stationary video game bikes, snowboards and virtual soccer%u2026they%u2019re even popping up in physical education classes and other private gyms for kids across the country.


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