05/26/2010 - News

American Heart Association Endorses Nintendo Wii

By: June Chen, MD

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The American Heart Association (AHA) has given video game manufacturer Nintendo permission to place the AHA ‘heart check’ logo on all Nintendo Wii virtual exercise and active game systems. As part of this partnership, Nintendo has agreed to donate $1.5 million to the AHA over a period of three years.

According to the AHA, more than 70% of Americans are completely sedentary, contributing to the growing obesity epidemic in the United States. The partnership between the AHA and Nintendo may help to make exercise more accessible and fun for both children and adults. Although the ‘heart check’ logo is usually found on food packaging to show consumers that it meets AHA criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol, the ‘heart check’ logo on Nintendo Wii systems is part of a nationwide program to alert consumers that the AHA considers Nintendo Wii games to be healthy choices.

While some critics may question the health benefits of active video games like Nintendo Wii Fit, particularly with regard to the intensity of exercise, the AHA endorsement is intended to engage the millions of people who are currently physically inactive. There is some research supporting health benefits for some Nintendo Wii users, but the AHA may be opening itself up to strong criticism for promoting a specific commercial product without randomized trials confirming its superiority over other similar active games or game systems.

 

Source:

Nintendo. Press release 17 May 2010.

 

Created on: 05/25/2010
Reviewed on: 05/26/2010

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