Children and youth with a video game addiction have an increased risk for sleep deprivation and associated conditions such as obesity, reports Science Daily.
The study, published in the scientific journal PLOS One, examines the growing global gaming phenomenon and its impact on youth health.
Dr. Katherine Morrison, co-author of the study, worked with researchers from McMaster and California State University, Fullerton. She is an associate professor of pediatrics for McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a pediatric endocrinologist with the McMaster Children’s Hospital.
Her team’s findings are serious, given the rise in videogame addictions, she said.
“This is an important phenomenon to understand. We are seeing that some children and teens develop serious addiction-like symptoms to video games,” said Morrison. “It affects a vulnerable population of children and youth, can impact social interactions amongst youth and, as our research shows, can drive health issues.”
For their research, the team studied a group of children and teens ages 10 to 17 who were in lifestyle management programs — either for weight management or lipid disorders. The study looked at whether the videogame habits of the group had an impact on sleep habits, obesity and cardio-metabolic health.