Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science
Objectives: To assess the differences in fruit and vegetable (F/V), total dietary fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and discretionary calorie consumption, as well as body fat percentage (BF%), body mass index (BMI), and iliac crest waist circumference (WC) between high, moderate, and non-video game users in a sample of male college students.
Methods: Data collected between 2012 – 2018 from the College Health and Nutrition Assessment Survey, an ongoing cross-sectional study at a public New England university, were analyzed. After exclusion of participants with missing data, our final sample sizes were n=1095, n=1060, and n=786 for diet, BF%, and BMI/WC analyses, respectively. Daily video game usage (hrs/day) was self-reported and categorized as: non-users (NVG), < 1hr/day users (MVG), and ≥ 1hr/day (HVG). BF% was measured via bioelectrical impedance; BMI and WC were measured in duplicate. Food and nutrient data were obtained from three-day food records. Group differences were examined via ANCOVA using total kilocalories, daily steps, and first-year status as covariates.
Results: College men reported varying levels of video game usage: 30.5% reported NVG, 39.4% reported MVG, and 30.1% reported HVG. Higher WC was observed in MVG compared to NVG (84.5±0.5 cm vs. 82.4±0.6 cm, P< 0.02); no differences in WC were seen between HVG vs. NVG (84.0±0.6 cm vs. 82.4±0.6 cm, p=0.18). BMI and BF% did not differ between groups. Higher saturated fat consumption (30.1±0.4 g and 29.9±0.4 g, vs. 28.2±0.4 g, P< 0.002, P< 0.02) and lower F/V consumption (2.96±0.1 cups and 3.01±0.1 cups, vs. 3.43±0.1 cups, P< 0.001, P< 0.01) were observed in MVG and HVG vs. NVG. Sodium intake was higher in MVG vs. NVG (3957±46 mg vs. 3701±53 mg, P< 0.001) while discretionary calories were higher in HVG vs. NVG (759±14 kcals vs. 693±14 kcals, P< 0.003). No differences in total dietary fat, sugar, or alcohol consumption between groups were found.
Conclusions: Video game usage was associated with higher WC, saturated fat, sodium, discretionary calories, and lower F/V intake in college men. This knowledge can help to tailor nutrition education to male students; however, more robust, experimental studies in the college population are needed to confirm our observations.
Funding Sources: The New Hampshire Agriculture Experiment Station and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Project 1010738