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Video Games and Poor Eating Habits

Video game use may affect dietary choices.

Video game eating habits

The explosive growth of the video game industry may be leading to less-than-stellar eating habits in young men. As indicated by food diaries, male college students who were moderate or heavy video game players (at least 1 hour daily) ate more saturated fat, salt and discretionary calories (the calories “left over” after nutrient needs were met) than those who did not play video games, according to data from the University of New Hampshire presented as part of Nutrition 2020 Live Online, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition.

Game fans also consumed fewer fruits and vegetables. Since early-adulthood lifestyle habits, including diet, tend to continue later in life, it’s important to learn if gamers will end up as adults with lousy diets and a higher risk for obesity and certain diseases. Researchers also need to uncover whether video game advertisements play a role in these findings.

See also: Game On for Weight Gain


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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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