President Obama Links Videogames to Unhealthy Kids

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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President Obama Links Videogames to Unhealthy Kids


In a speech to the American Medical Association [http://www.ama-assn.org/], President Barack Obama once again suggested that overindulgence in videogames is turning U.S. youths into unhealthy little fatbodies.

While Obama's election was widely applauded by gamers, the President has often linked videogaming to underachievement in American youth, in addresses both before and after taking office. He returned to the subject again today, telling members of the American Medical Association that part of his initiative to reform the U.S. health care system will be a focus on "preventive care," which includes cutting back on the videogames.

"The second step [in health care reform] that we can all agree on is to invest more in preventive care so that we can avoid illness and disease in the first place. That starts with each of us taking more responsibility for our health and the health of our children," he said. "It means quitting smoking, going in for that mammogram or colon cancer screening. It means going for a run or hitting the gym, and raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside."

To be fair, Obama doesn't appear to be targeting videogames as an insidious evil eating away at the very moral fabric of our society; he just wants kids to get outside and play more, and I don't see where that's a particularly bad idea. The problem isn't videogames as much as it is the fact that videogames are a very visible and very topical factor in the spread of the increasingly sedentary Western lifestyle. The massive popularity of videogames may be new, but the idea that overindulgence is unhealthy most definitely isn't.

Source: GamePolitics [http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/06/15/text-of-obamas-speech-before-the-ama/]


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SirSchmoopy

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Apr 15, 2008
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Just as much as television or facebook/twitter. I understand his point but the idea of going outside and playing hopscotch just isn't as cool as playing EA's HOP SCOTCH CHAMPION 09.
 

pantsoffdanceoff

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Jun 14, 2008
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SirSchmoopy said:
Just as much as television or facebook/twitter. I understand his point but the idea of going outside and playing hopscotch just isn't as cool as playing EA's HOP SCOTCH CHAMPION 09.
I agree when I play sports in the "outside" game this water comes out of my skin and makes me smell bad, AND I have to stand up. I'd rather just play the game indoors, whilst sitting down.
 

Xvito

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Aug 16, 2008
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President Obama also thinks that war is a good idea...

Maybe getting the youth off MySpace and Facebook is a better reform... Oh, and getting them out of McDonalds.
 

Legion

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Oct 2, 2008
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He makes a fair point, although all this health and safety BS doesn't make it as easy as it should be.
 

PureChaos

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why am i not surprised games are being blamed for unhealthy kids, too?? McDonalds, chocolate, deep fried stuff, cake and fatty foods have NOTHING to do with it, it's all video games' fault
 

newguy77

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Sep 28, 2008
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Wow. He's discovered that too much inactivity causes obesity in most people. What a discovery.
 

Sewer Rat

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While he makes a fair point, telivision in general holds just about as much blame, stop singling out the gamers *goes back behind anti-politician bunker*
 

squid5580

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Wouldn't this turn back full circle back to parenting though. As a kid my parents would kick my ass outside for the day. I would be allowed back in to eat or use the can but that would be it. I do understand that the world is a scarier place than it was back then but still. It isn't like the world was perfect back then either.
 

JRCB

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link670 said:
While he makes a fair point, telivision in general holds just about as much blame, stop singling out the gamers *goes back behind anti-politician bunker*
I agree.

Now move over. There's plenty of space in here for everyone.
 

El Poncho

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May 21, 2009
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PureChaos said:
why am i not surprised games are being blamed for unhealthy kids, too?? McDonalds, chocolate, deep fried stuff, cake and fatty foods have NOTHING to do with it, it's all video games' fault
You have a point about the fatty foods and stuff but if those kids did go outside more and not spend to much inside they would lose most of that weight they put on.
 

Kuliani

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Dec 14, 2004
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One thing to note from his speech, he recognizes that kids are playing videogames. What did kids do before videogames? Play outside? No, they watched TV. If you simply take away videogames, the children will just watch TV.

The only thing that can get the kids outside is the parents. Madden football is fun, why don't you go and buy your kid a real football and see if they can reenact some of that in-game awesomeness? Hell, make it so that in order to play their games, they have to race you around the outside of your house/block first?
 

Spektre41

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He is right, you know.

Damn, leave it to Obama to take a statement we all hate and be completely cool about it.
 

PureChaos

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poncho14 said:
PureChaos said:
why am i not surprised games are being blamed for unhealthy kids, too?? McDonalds, chocolate, deep fried stuff, cake and fatty foods have NOTHING to do with it, it's all video games' fault
You have a point about the fatty foods and stuff but if those kids did go outside more and not spend to much inside they would lose most of that weight they put on.
yeah, i had that thought once i posted it but i don't go outside and exercise much but i watch what i eat so it's not a problem. it's swings and roundabouts, really.

Psychosocial said:
PureChaos said:
why am i not surprised games are being blamed for unhealthy kids, too?? McDonalds, chocolate, deep fried stuff, cake and fatty foods have NOTHING to do with it, it's all video games' fault
There are fatties in Sweden too, but fatty food is not even nearly as popular here as in say America.

I know it's hard, but we've gotta admit that there is some sort of truth in what Obama is saying.
SOME truth, yes
 

Rolling Thunder

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Dec 23, 2007
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Let's get the list out.

*Removes impossibly long, dusty-looking and ancient list*

Now, things bad for the health. Starting at 'A'... Arrmaggedon, Asbestos, Attilla The Hun, Bees, Blades, Blunt Instruments....


*Continues on for the next four years, until*

Ah, Videogames! Here we are: "Videogames are, like Television, Reading, Wargaming, Websurfing and drinking coffee, bad for one's health if one indulges in them in Extremis and neglects the other facets of a healthy life; like Movement."