The problem of poor nutrition for kids and associated childhood obesity has gained much attention in recent years. The World Health Organization notes that children throughout the world are exposed to marketing of junk food which increases the risk for developing noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes. In a news release on Oct. 7, 2013, Michigan State University reported, "Research shows 'advergames' promote unhealthy foods for kids."
Aside from some online video games promoting a less-than-active lifestyle for children, the content of some of these games may also be contributing to unhealthy diets. A team of researchers at Michigan State University took a closer look at what are called advergames and discovered they have often promote junk food.
An advergame is as an online video game which promotes a particular product, service or company by integrating it into the game. These games are generally offered for free. The researchers observed that many of the advergames centered around high-fat, high-sugar and high-sodium products.
Lorraine Weatherspoon, a co-director of the project, has said, “One of the things we were concerned about was that the majority of foods that received the most interest were those that tended to be energy dense – high in calories – and not high in nutrients.” And these games are very quick and easy to play. It would be a good idea to turn all of this around and use advergames to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.