A new study conducted in Sweden has concluded that television is far more likely to play a role in childhood obesity than computers.
Take that, television! A study of all the primary school children in Sweden's Lund Municipality found that children who spend large amounts of time sitting in front of the television are at "significantly greater risk" of being fat little porkers than kids who are parked in front of computers for the same amount of time. Obesity and television were directly linked, according to the study, but there was no connection at all with computers. "The results were unequivocal," said nurse Penilla Garmy.
What's the difference? One theory is that television is entirely passive, making it easy for kids to just lie on the couch and jam Fritos into their mouths all day long; computers, on the other hand, while not necessarily an intense workout, require more input from the user and thereby make snacking far less convenient. I think it's also reasonable to suggest that once kids have poured a Coke or two into a new keyboard, parents may be less than inclined to let them fill their faces while they're chatting or gaming.
Of course, "not fat" doesn't necessarily mean healthy and spending all day in front of a keyboard carries its own unique risks: Weak muscle tone, sallow complexion and a surly disposition. Want to avoid both pitfalls? Go outside and play for awhile! (And leave the PSP on the table, please.)