UK Government to tackle obesity via games

UK Government to tackle obesity via games

The UK Government is wanting to encourage parental timers as a way to help reduce obesity, but there are other ways...

The UK government has pledged to tackle childhood obesity by dealing with computer game companies again. It seems like they try to do this every few months.

Regardless, the UK Department of Health has pledged £372 million as part of an action plan to prevent obesity in children and young adults, according to MCV.

As part of the plan, the Department of Health will work closely with the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association to make sure that games continue to promote use of parental timers for restricting play time among children.

Personally, I've never even heard of anybody using a parental timer in a game. In my experience parents get divided into those who play games themselves and are capable of monitoring their children directly, and those who are tech-illiterate and wouldn't know how to use the timer properly anyway.

Director General of ELSPA Paul Jackson has said in a public statement that “We look forward to working with the department on strategies to help in the education and support of parents and children. We as an industry wish to encourage healthy lifestyles and will therefore also take the opportunity of informing the government of the huge amount of active gaming devices and games which offer more active and interactive play."

Are there other ways the government should would to try and reduce obesity in children? Let us know your ideas in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
samkiller42 28th January 2008, 12:04 Quote
haha, that picture is priceless.
I'm not sure parental timers would work, most children know computers alot better than there parents, and therefore would find a way to hack the timer, and kill it, or extend the playing time. Although, i don't think its just down to kids playing games, its as much as the kids fault as it is the parents. Just my thought though.

indigo_prime 28th January 2008, 12:09 Quote
OK, so the government need a way to stop kids getting fat???

Nice and simple: 1 hour of fat burning and cardio vascular Physical Training, EVERY DAY at school. Give them the weekend to recover. Its what the Army has done for years to maintain fitness amongst troops. Im not saying they all need to be super fit athletes, just stop them from becoming a burden on the NHS!
mmorgue 28th January 2008, 12:31 Quote
@indigo_prime: Amen!!

Why is the govt now looking at games to take over as what *is* the responsability of the fatty children and, above all, the parents of said fatty children?

Pathetic. The incentive isn't there, because fatty children and their parents know being fat has no reprocussions or restrictions, apart from the physical ones or the health ones (which if they're that fat they already couldn't care less).

It should be done on a different basis. If you need to go to the NHS for medical help (apart from A&E) you should first be evaluated physically. If you're overweight due to poor diet, lack of exercise and NOT due to some disease or congenital defect preventing you from doing so, then you should get NO help. Why should my taxes that go to fund the NHS be used to help people who don't give a sh*t about themselves?

Parents: make and effort and do your job - be *parents*. Otherwise, don't have children and get sea monkeys intead.
ToMMo 28th January 2008, 14:24 Quote
I thought the stereotypical view of a gamer was skinny? Clearly not games to fault here, just lazy peeps who eat too much and cba to move. Come to think of it, I don't think any of my friends are fat and we all play games... some console lovers others prefer WASD.

Agree with the above posts too
DXR_13KE 28th January 2008, 14:41 Quote
indigo_prime amen 2

i think the UK gov likes to burn money..... £372 Million could go to better physical education in school, better health system.... discounts on games and systems that are good for health......

£372 Million is a s*** load of money.....
steveo_mcg 28th January 2008, 14:58 Quote
Personally i think they need to look harder at the work, since i started working full time many years ago i've had less time to either game or exercise, now i'm finding that work is taking more and more of my life something of the order of 10 hours a day is wasted in work or working related activities. I think this is a tragic waste that the government should investigate and take measures to remove....

Trefarm 28th January 2008, 16:24 Quote
Amen to Mmorgue... the problem is people having children who don't really want them...
you don't want to devote allyour time 24/7 and every penny you earn to your children... then DON'T have them...

Maybe i'm looking back with the old rose tints... but my old man worked from before i got up till after my dinner and we still played football/flew balsa wood planes/rode my bike around the house etc... my mum cooked my food she didn't microwave it.

I'm not a parent so maybe I can't talk but jeez it's not hard Don't eat crap, Do exercise! The only thing i can think of that might help this is the new Wii extra coming out, NOT spanking millions on timers! How about buying every kid a bike with the money instead?
plug_in_ross 28th January 2008, 17:22 Quote
£372 million? What would that actually be spent on?

Unless they're buying everyone Wii's with Wii Fit.
D3s3rt_F0x 28th January 2008, 17:57 Quote
Why dont they just spend £372 million making places for kids to play instead of building houses on them or putting up a no ball games sign, not like you can even use school playing fields anymore near me cause all the schools have 8ft fences around them.
Phil Rhodes 28th January 2008, 18:55 Quote
They could encourage kids to take more interest in sport by hiring PE teachers for schools who aren't all particularly shouty, Hitler-moustachioed rejects from a military training camp. If you're crap at maths, you get remedial help. If you're crap at English, you get remedial help. If you're crap at PE, as I suspect all to many of us are or were, you get shouted at and derided. I'm not quite sure what people expect to happen.
Tubarc 28th January 2008, 20:59 Quote
Free Fruits on Public Areas to Curb Spreading Obesity

Fruits are low in calories and highly nutritional already grown on public places at increasing ratios to face obesity trends. Tree climbing also can be a body exercise for kids harvesting fruits.

Fruits have around four times more water content than cookies and easily satisfy hunger taking less energy. Refrigerators full of fruits easily beat junkies.

In Brazil we are increasing fruit trees in the public areas changing the country to a large tropical orchard. Then, sidewalks, squares, parks, roadsides will be plenty of free fruits bearing appropriate food to fight spreading obesity. Free fruits are protected from the power of the economic system pursuing profitability.

Other countries are invited to join us on a fight against global obesity toward a Public Fructification. Brazil intends to become a developed country without common problems of a superpower.

Planting fruit trees is easy!.

C-Sniper 28th January 2008, 22:27 Quote
I think this can be compared to "Guns don't kill people, People kill people" type phrase (substitute "games" for "guns", and "Make people fat" for "kill people')
wharrad 28th January 2008, 22:58 Quote
Originally Posted by mmorgue

Pathetic. The incentive isn't there, because fatty children and their parents know being fat has no reprocussions or restrictions, apart from the physical ones or the health ones (which if they're that fat they already couldn't care less).

A comedian once said that they taxed smokers and drinkers to the hilt because of the costs on the NHS etc, why isn't there a fat tax?

Good question I think, maybe it's not PC, but an interesting thought anyway
Mysterae 29th January 2008, 00:04 Quote
I shouldn't be putting ideas in the gov's head, but non the less..

How about developing a game controller that measures your BMI. If your over the ideal measure, Roy Chubby Brown pops up gives you abuse "YFB!".
mikeuk2004 29th January 2008, 00:25 Quote
Are timers really the answer. You just create mody teenagers lol. Crying because they couldnt save the game before it switched off :) Be interesting if MS has been recording how many 360 owners have used the parental timers they added in the Xmas update. Are parents using them??? or is it just one of those features that never get used or parents cant figure how to use it?

Im not a parent but my older brother is of 4 and hes as dumb as they go when it comes to VCR timers etc.
completemadness 30th January 2008, 21:55 Quote
What stops you just going to another game/platform when the timer runs out?
CardJoe 31st January 2008, 07:33 Quote
Sheer pride and dignity.
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