Those women who spend two hours daily in playing computer games are at risk of gaining additional 3.7 kg after a period of five years, the findings suggested.

The research that followed more than 2,500 Swedes in their 20s for five years found no such impact of video games in men.

The participants responded to a survey on three different occasions: in 2007, 2008 and 2012.

Researchers used the survey to investigate whether the amount of time young people spend e-mailing, chatting or playing computer games in their free time affects their body mass index (BMI).

The results showed that women of normal weight who played computer games for at least one hour a day were more likely to become overweight (measured as a BMI over 25) during the five-year study period compared to women who did not play.

"The increased BMI in those who played computer games for more than two hours a day would for a young woman of average height and weight equal an additional weight gain of 3.7 kilos," said one of the researchers, Sara Thomee from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

"That calculation takes other risk factors for obesity into account, such as age, occupation, total daily computer time, physical activity during free time, sleep and perceived social support," Thomee pointed out.

The study was published in the journal BMC Public Health.

 

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