Few health hazards seen for most teen video gamers, study says


— The good news is that not only do video games pose little in the way
of health hazards for most teens, they’re even linked to lower smoking.

The bad news is that a small group of adolescents are “problem gamers,” and that can lead to trouble.

So says a news study out of Yale,
published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The study has been called
one of the most comprehensive examinations of video games’ effect on
health among adolescents.

Of the 4,028 surveyed, 51 percent played video games
(76.3 percent male, 29.2 female). The researchers — led by Rani Desai,
associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Yale
— believe that video games pose little concern for adolescents. Among
boys, video games are even linked to a lower chance that they’ll take
up smoking.

However, a small group of those surveyed (close to 5
percent) reported that they have trouble cutting back on their playing,
and feel tense if they don’t play. It’s among this group that problems
emerge. Cigarette smoking, drug use, depression and serious fights were
found to be more common in this group, for both boys and girls.


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