Study: Adult Video Gamers Fatter, More Depressed

US adult gamers are chubbier, less happy than non-gamers

A new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention working with Emory and Andrews Universities suggests the average US adult gamer is chubbier and less happy than the rest of the population. Apparently eschewing flea markets, churches, bowling alleys, sleepovers, and bingo night, they're also more dependent on the internet to make friends.

The average age of an "adult" gamer? 35, according to the study, a number that's been creeping up for years as those of us who grew up with Commodore and Atari and Pong carry the flag forward toward quadragenarianism.

The CDC-led study sampled responses from 500 adults aged 19 to 90 in the Seattle-Tacoma area, of which roughly 45 percent said they played video games. Of that 45 percent, male gamers had higher body-mass indexes (BMIs) and used the internet more than non-gamers, while female gamers reported higher incidence of depression and health issues. Both male and female gamers reportedly depend more on the internet when making new friends.

I'm not sure I see the upside/downside of the last point, and I'd argue whether "extroversion" is reducible to face-to-face activities. Isn't social engagement through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, instant messaging, email, etc. a form of extroversion ("outgoing," "sociable," "gregarious") too?

Unfortunately, the study doesn't appear to control for possibly related factors, say whether a respondent's career has any bearing on their physiological and mental well-being. Is there a correlation between career interest in computers and high technology and video gaming? If so, what about the sedentary nature of various technology-related jobs? So there's a correlation between adult male video game players and higher BMIs...could there be other explanatory correlations?

And what about those feelings of "depression"? Are they due to "withdrawal" symptoms as some- (without a shred of medical evidence, mind you) have claimed? Or could it be that games in at least some instances aid in highlighting the depressingly drone-like aspects of so many middle-class jobs? Do the games cause depression? Or simply reveal and/or highlight other elements of a person's life responsible for as much?

I can't discount the BMI claim if accurate. "Fat" isn't the new "robust." The bottom line fellas? Get off your duff and exercise.

Just not too much.

As they say, "everything in moderation."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Peckham

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?