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Acute effects of violent video-game playing on blood pressure and appetite perception in normal-weight young men: a randomized controlled trial


Watching television and playing video game being seated represent sedentary behaviours and increase the risk of weight gain and hypertension. We investigated the acute effects of violent and non-violent video-game playing on blood pressure (BP), appetite perception and food preferences. Forty-eight young, normal-weight men (age: 23.1±1.9 years; body mass index: 22.5±1.9 kg/m2) participated in a three-arm, randomized trial. Subjects played a violent video game, a competitive, non-violent video game or watched TV for 1 h. Measurements of BP, stress and appetite perception were recorded before a standardized meal (300 kcal) and then repeated every 15 min throughout the intervention. Violent video-game playing was associated with a significant increase in diastolic BP (Δ±s.d.=+7.5±5.8 mm Hg; P=0.04) compared with the other two groups. Subjects playing violent video games felt less full (P=0.02) and reported a tendency towards sweet food consumption. Video games involving violence appear to be associated with significant effects on BP and appetite perceptions compared with non-violent gaming or watching TV.

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This study was supported by Core budget, Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, UCL Institute of Child Health.

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Correspondence to M Siervo.

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Guarantor: MS is the guarantor for the manuscript and had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.Contributors: MS, MSF, JCKW: study concept and design; SS, acquisition of data; MS, JCKW: analysis and interpretation of data; MS: drafting of the manuscript; MS, SS, MSF, JCKW: critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; MS: statistical analysis; JCKW: obtained funding; SS: administrative, technical and material support; MS, JCKW: study supervision.The material presented in this manuscript is original and it has not been submitted for publication elsewhere while under consideration for European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Siervo, M., Sabatini, S., Fewtrell, M. et al. Acute effects of violent video-game playing on blood pressure and appetite perception in normal-weight young men: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 1322–1324 (2013).

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  • video game
  • stress
  • blood pressure
  • appetite
  • cardiovascular risk

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