Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

Active Video Games and Appetite Control in Adolescents

This study has been completed.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jean-Philippe Chaput, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Identifier:
First received: July 30, 2012
Last updated: February 2, 2015
Last verified: February 2015

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM: Video games have enormous mass appeal, are omnipresent in the daily schedule of most children and youth and have been linked to the obesity epidemic. The investigators research group recently reported that sedentary video game playing increases food intake in adolescents. Interestingly, the overconsumption of food associated with seated video game play was observed without increased sensations of hunger and appetite, as previously observed with television viewing. Active video games offer an appealing opportunity for increasing energy expenditure and promoting healthy body weight among children and youth who might otherwise be spending time in sedentary screen-based activities. However, significant increases in energy expenditure as a result of active video game play might be of little importance to energy balance if one compensates by increasing energy intake and/or decreasing physical activity. Studies to date have failed to measure energy intake so it is currently unknown the effects of active video games on daily energy balance.

OBJECTIVE: The main aim of this study is to examine the acute effects of playing active video games on energy intake and expenditure.

HYPOTHESIS: The investigators hypothesize that the increase in energy expenditure promoted by active video games will be offset by compensatory adjustments in food intake and spontaneous physical activity subsequent to the intervention.

RESEARCH PLAN: With the use of a randomized crossover design, 30 normal-weight and 30 obese adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age will complete three 1-hour experimental conditions, namely (1) resting in a sitting position (control condition), (2) playing Xbox 360 (sedentary video game condition) and (3) playing Kinect (active video game condition), followed by an ad libitum lunch. The primary outcomes will be acute (24-h) and short-term (3-day) energy intake and expenditure. Food intake will be measured using an ad libitum test meal immediately following the intervention, a food menu for the remainder of the day and a dietary record for the subsequent 3-day period. Energy expenditure will be measured using indirect calorimetry during the intervention and an Actical accelerometer for the subsequent 3-day period. Secondary outcomes will include appetite sensations (visual analogue scales), stress markers (heart rate variability, blood pressure, and mental workload), and levels of appetite-related hormones and substrates (glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin).

RELEVANCE: The present study is innovative and likely to result in a number of new and important findings that can inform future recommendations. If the investigators confirm our hypothesis, the clinical implication will be to rethink the strategy of promoting active video games as an intervention tool for the prevention of overweight and obesity in youth.

Condition Intervention
Active Video Games and Appetite Control
Behavioral: Active video gaming
Behavioral: Passive video gaming
Behavioral: Resting

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Effects of Active Video Games on Energy Balance: a Randomized Crossover Study in Adolescents

Further study details as provided by Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Energy balance [ Time Frame: Up to 3 days after the intervention ]
    Energy intake and energy expenditure

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Appetite sensations [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    Visual analogue scales

  • Stress markers [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    Heart rate variability, blood pressure, mental effort

  • Levels of appetite-related hormones [ Time Frame: 1 day (pre and post intervention) ]
    Glucose, insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin

Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: September 2012
Study Completion Date: September 2014
Primary Completion Date: September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Active video gaming
Playing Kinect
Behavioral: Active video gaming Behavioral: Passive video gaming Behavioral: Resting
Experimental: Passive video gaming
Playing Xbox 360
Behavioral: Active video gaming Behavioral: Passive video gaming Behavioral: Resting
Experimental: Resting
Stay seated on a comfortable chair
Behavioral: Active video gaming Behavioral: Passive video gaming Behavioral: Resting


Ages Eligible for Study:   13 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adolescent between the ages of 13 and 17

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current smoker
  • Unstable body weight (±4 kg) during the 6 months preceding testing
  • Excessive intake of alcohol (>10 drinks/week) or substance abuse
  • Metabolic disease (e.g. thyroid disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc)
  • Celiac disease or vegetarian
  • Medication use that could interfere with the outcome variables
  • Highly restrained eating behavior
  • Irregular eating pattern (e.g. skipping breakfast)
  • Unfamiliar with the use of video games
  • Inability to comply with the protocol
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01655901

Canada, Ontario
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1H 8L1
Sponsors and Collaborators
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Principal Investigator: Jean-Philippe Chaput, PhD Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Jean-Philippe Chaput, Junior Research Chair, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Identifier: NCT01655901     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 272112
Study First Received: July 30, 2012
Last Updated: February 2, 2015

Keywords provided by Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario:
Active video games
Food intake
Energy balance
Adolescents processed this record on May 24, 2017