back to article Most gamers fat and miserable, finds study

Overweight? Depressed? Aged 35? Answer 'yes' to all three and you are almost certainly a gamer. So suggests a joint study conducted by scientists from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), Emory University in Atlanta and Andrews University in Michigan. Researchers concluded that frequent gamers tend to be fatter and of …


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  1. idi
    Thumb Up

    Well thats me ;)

    Not sure about the depressed bit tho

  2. Anonymous Coward


    ...I could of told you that.

    Next shocking news.

    People with great bodys tend eat well and exercise.

    £50k please....

  3. Anonymous Coward


    They needed a "Study" to figure this out? .. whoever funded it should be shot!

  4. Glen 9


    That's described me in a nutshell to be honest besides the 35 years of age. World of Warcraft much?

  5. Lionel Baden


    not in the UK mate

    any member of our clan

    is Youngish 16 - 24 apart from 4 of us

    None of us are fat

    although i have to admit at 28 the affections of youth are starting to leave me and my belly is no longer toned :(

    lowlifescum ftw :)

  6. Reality Dysfunction

    wrong way round for a causal link

    Fat miserable thirty somethings have nothing better to do than play games..

    at least when we can get the kids to bloody bed anyway

  7. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Ursines prefer to defecate in boreal environment

    Leader of major religion wears distinctive headgear.

  8. Tony Flaherty


    Don't have time to comment, just about to start a Naxx 25 man :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Slight flaw...

    There's a bit of a problem with this study, which you can spot here:

    "500 adults aged between 19 and 90 from Washington state"

    I don't know about you, but I don't know that there's many adults over 50 in Washington state playing video games, so lets narrow down the group to, hrmm, 350 adults?

    That's hardly a large enough demographic, especially considering they are all from a single area!

    Besides, I'm a gamer and I'm not miserable...

    I don't live in Washington State either.

    Perhaps the headline should read:

    "350 potential gamers age 19-90 in Washington State are fat and miserable and stupid, finds study"

    There, that's better.

  10. Gil Grissum

    Gamers are what?

    Right. And this study was probably performed by a non-gamer lot who simply want to poo on the party for those of us who enjoy video games. I'm a gamer and I'm not fat or depressed. I'm having fun. That's the whole point of gaming. Enjoying something fun. First games are supposed to be turning blokes into anti-social killing machines, now it's alleged that gamers are a 35 year old fat depressed lot. Yea. right. I work for a University. Anyone can do a University study to prove whatever they want to prove while pocketing grant money. It's all part of the game. Create a question. Formulate surveys, pass them out, and get people to answer them, either pay them in one way or another, and you've got a built in answer to a question in order to "prove" that your point is valid. It's all just a game. LOL!!! How do you check to determine if the answers given to you in surveys are truthful? No way to prove it. So you have a survey who's answers can't be proven to be factual and you announce that "The Survey Said" this or that and we are expected to believe the results, why?

  11. dominic bird

    depressed but not fat

    The last time I bought a computer game it was to block out the s**t that is my life. I was looking for something that would take ages to complete thus filling the hours of boredom that would normally be filled with a social life. I recommend the RPG as an ample source of oblivion.

    I'm not fat though or 35.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    To paraphrase Mo the bartender, "Hey! I may be fat and I may be miserable, but .. what else did he say?"

    Must buy that t-shirt I saw somewhere that said "Achievement unlocked - 10G - Left the house" wonder if they do an XXL...

  13. Hermes (nine inch) Conran

    Yes but...

    Which is cause and which effect?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Title goes here.

    Overweight? No

    Miserable? Nope

    Over 35? Yes

    Gamer? Yes

    So much for that study.

  15. bluesxman

    Fat, Miserable, Asocial...

    Isn't that the target demographic for WoW?

  16. Richard 81


    Perhaps, but you need a bigger sample group.

  17. Xander
    Thumb Down

    Cart / Horse

    Again this tripe is trotted out. Try putting the horse before the cart next time:

    "Fat, depressed 35 year olds play more video games" is a much more accurate headline.

  18. Matthew Burling

    News just in ...

    In other news, bears, Popes, etc.

  19. Barry Tabrah

    Almost perfect match

    Except that I'm a happy gamer! Everything else fits to a tee, but until I read this article I wasn't depressed at all... much.

  20. Sabine Miehlbradt

    2 minor points

    a) correlation is not causation

    b) is the study sure what is cause and what is effect?

    If you are fat and/or depressed you tend to get mobbed in RL so badly that gaming is a lot more restful than any other social activity.

    Mine's the one with the +3 cluebat hanging down the back.

  21. RussianBoB

    Chicken or the egg

    I think there could be a different take on this reaserch. Maybe individuals who are larger, less attractive and more depressed are not accepted into traditional social activities and circles and so prefer to have their social interaction online where those things matter less?

  22. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!

    Wasn't there another report that said...

    the opposite a few months ago! I seem to recall this.

    This sounds like one of those "We are making a point that something is bad" survey asked to be done by a group of people who think their lifestyle is perfect and think everyone else should be the same as them.

    The El reg article is too short to get a true idea of the survey and usually the media likes to jump on the negative aspect of the report.

    Like the Twitter article on the BBC recently that said 40 percent of Tweets are pointless, but hey that means 60 percent are useful then, imagine that...

    I'm a gamer, but I don't relate to the stereotype this survey is obviously trying to create, so we can all ignore it ok.

  23. Sampler

    Biased study finds biased result shock

    I read a more detailed report publised by the BBC yesterday ( which came out with the shock result that "gamers" are older than most think - when only interviewing folk aged 19-90 are you surprised?

    "The team chose the Seattle-Tacoma area because its internet usage level is the highest within the US and it is one of the larger markets for media."

    So is it surprising that %45 play games?

    Also there's plenty of inference that gamers are fat and miserable, obviously pushing that as a coleration, but maybe people are miserable because of the way society treats fat people and games are a way of escaping this?

    With no figures to base these on (more were depressed, how many more, 1, 50?) you can't say whether it's a statistical anomaly or a real trend - but with a base size of 500 I could take a guess at why figures aren't published.

    Go away CDC and do some real research based on a nationally representative sample size and distribution with a sufficient volume of respondents to eliminate bias as much as possible and conduct the research over several forms (at a guess they did this online?) to ensure you get a good cross-section of society.

    THEN we'll see if your results stack up.

    Can you tell I work in market research?

  24. adnim


    I have been gaming for around 25 years as have many of my friends and I don't know a single fat depressed gamer. None of my friends are over weight nor depressed.

    Ah the survey was taken in the US, that explains it, I guess most of the US population are over weight and depressed gamer or not.

  25. Hollerith 1

    What did they do before the intertubes?

    Fat, older, unloved folks mostly watched TV, were bored, etc. Now they hve a simulacrum of life. Still depressing, but better than before. My own opinion: adults playing games? Having you got real things to do?

    But then, I always hated games, from monopoly and card games as a child to online games and card gmes as an adult. What a way to waste time you can never get back, or which you could have used actually talking to someone and getting to know them better, or reading and learning, or helping someone.

  26. Shane 8
    Thumb Up

    @ Tony

    Nax 25?! get with the times its Uld 25 (hard mode) / ToC time ! also no maintainence today, cant wait til end of work.

  27. Steve Swann


    ...oh wait.... I'll hold the rant... this is about AMERICANS....

  28. Anonymous Coward

    This doesn't represent me therefore it's wrong

    "I'm a gamer and I'm not 35, so that study is obviously wrong."

    I guess another common feature of gamers is that they don't know what statistics are.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    huff....puff ... gasp.... pant ....

    ..... Captain Obvious to the (slightly breathless) rescue!

  30. Dave Murray
    Thumb Down

    In other news...

    I did a survey of American reality TV programs and found that... Most Americans are fat, miserable, obsessed with plastic surgery and stupid!

    Back in the real world... I've been playing games since Pong and I'm online for about 6 hours most nights. I'm 36, weigh 10 stone with a 30" waist and I'm neither single nor depressed. Must be because I'm not American.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    seems to be the word that many commentators here are missing.

    As in "I'm not 35/fat/depressed so it's crap".

    It also doesn't mention small dicks, but I don't think that was part of the study.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They forgot to mention beer and pizza in their paper titled 'stating the bleeding obvious'. I'd list some more but my fat, gaming fingers think that's too much like exercise and besides I'm too miserable.

    In my day there were pharmaceutical solutions to this problem and who needs the two front teeth at the top of their mouths anyway?

  33. John 137

    @Steve Swann

    You're right... if it were about Britons, they'd have also found that gamers have bad teeth and eat bland food!

    Also, at the other commenters, I agree that it's a rather silly study, but your anecdotes about being a thin 20-year-old happy gamer do not magically make the study invalid--it's statistics, droogs. The study is invalid if they decide that, obviously, playing games makes you fat, depressed, and old; drop in the old C-is-not-C phrase here.

  34. breakfast

    Wait, where did my life go?

    Sometimes I think about times I spent playing games and it seems like such non-achievement, so far from being anything real, that it's like big chunks of my life just gone for no return. All those times I killed ten Fozzbears and three Greater Fozzbears in Wow so some dude with a questionmark over his head could tell me to kill ten greater Fozzbears and three Dire Fozzbears, well, in retrospect that time could perhaps have been better spent. But then the time I played right the way through Quake on co-op with three friends, that was pretty much awesome.

    I guess it comes down to what you want your life to have been about when you look back on it from your deathbed- do you want to count your achievements in the wider world, whatever their magnitude, or how many Dire Fozzbears you did away with and how epic your mount was. It doesn't really matter which, as long as you can have your expectiations set.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Xander has it right

    Fat depressed over 35s play more video games.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    The study is flawed

    Not only because of its small sample size, but because their method of calculating 'fatness' is flawed. When will they stop using BMI?!?!

  37. E Haines

    @Hollerith 1

    Everything is a waste of time. Your wastes of time are no more and no less valid than anyone else's wastes of time. If you don't enjoy games, don't play them. If you do enjoy them, play them. I'm quite sure you have activities that I would consider boring and pointless, but I'm not going to tell you to do something "real", because it's your life and you can waste it any way you choose. The simple fact is, different people have different interests. I can't believe I had to waste my time explaining this....

  38. David Simpson 1


    How does this compare to Florida,California or New York ?

    Washington state has long been known to have a very high percentage of depressive people (see Grunge) it rains ALOT.

  39. John 192
    Gates Horns

    Remember where this study was done..

    As in the "greater Redmond" area. I wonder how many of these people work for MS? Kind of explains the results, me thinks. At least the depressed part.

  40. Anonymous Coward


    I'm fat and depressed but only 34...

    I fail even at making the average.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Washington? Wait...

    "350 potential gamers age 19-90 in Washington State are fat and miserable and stupid, finds study"

    Yeah that would be better :) *but* sadly the majority of people in WA nowadays are actually transplants from California, and everyone knows that Californians are fucked up ;)

  42. Zargof

    Conclusion incorrect

    I'm not sure how the author can draw the conclusion that gamers are fat and miserable, surely it should be that gamer are fat *or* miserable. The article states that male gamers are more likely to have a higher BMI than non-gamers, but does not anything about the BMI for females. Similarly, the article states that female gamers are more likely to be depressed than non-gamers, but does mention anything about the mental state of male gamers.

    So unless the sex of gamers is not mutually exclusive (admittedly that would explain a lot about gamers) then the author really needs to learn a little more about Boolean logic.

  43. Doug Glass

    Plain Crap

    Who did the survey means nothing. Who validated it is a key point.

    If they polled the same number of people in one of our over-crowded penitentiaries they'd have reached the conclusion that some large proportion of them have prior arrest records.

    Conclusions are meaningless unless you have the details of the study.

  44. LaeMi Qian

    Overweight (medically), depressed (medically), late-30s...

    ...really don't have the patience for gaming other than a bit of dabbling. Don't enjoy shopping, power over other people, jewellery, etc. either, so likely I am rather atrophied in the reward-centres of my brain. Serotonin deficiency according to my doc. (Yes, I am medicated, which takes the worst off the edges of it).

    Online social networks tend to be things I get dragged into by friends who prefer to communicate with me through them (I prefer plain-text email), but I really don't see the point in constantly updating the world on what colour my poop was this morning.

    I'm atypical, but I knew that already.

  45. Vanir

    Computer Gaming is a disease

    US Centres for Disease Control (CDC)?

    Hence should be controlled.

  46. J 3
    Paris Hilton


    Regardless of the merits of the study mentioned in the article, it has to be said (again):

    Most ignorant numskulls who visit IT news sites haven't got a clue about the meaning of statistics. Should someone do research on that, too?

    In time: I am 35, but neither fat nor miserable. And I don't even game, mind. Or does footie count?

  47. John 158

    circle up down up down

    Surely the depression is caused by RSI halting all ability to masturbate furiously.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    really useful metric

    "Male gamers generally had a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) values than non-gaming boys."

    When are they going to stop using this completely useless, Victorian, vague observation, for real scientific purposes.

    I have about the same, if not lower, BMI as Mike Tyson and i'm 6 stone overweight with pure flab. the "ideal" ratio of weight to height, as recorded over 100 years ago, bears no relevance to today, as nutrition is completely different, and fails to take into account any difference between fat and muscle.

  49. Leo Maxwell

    On the other hand..

    I am overweight, 57, and I don't play video games, ever.

    What went wrong?

    Depressed now.

    Mine's the one with no controller

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I question the value of this "study"

    I'm 36, underweight and don't have time to play games. For all these reasons and more, I am depressed. Proper depressed, with two kinds of pills and everything. You'd be amazed how close a three-way decision between Rock Band 2, an early night, and a warm bath with a bottle of vodka, the entire contents of the medicine cabinet and a sharp blade can be sometimes.

  51. Jesse Dorland
    Thumb Up

    They are not kidding tough

    I used to play games -- back around 2003 or so. I can assure you that I was fat. Later I got a job, and this forced me to socialized in "real world" and this along with few things in my life made me gave up computer's entertainment all together. I still have a belly, but it's not as bad as it used to be...

    I can say from my personal experience people who "spend time on the computer" over six hours -- downloading torrent, movies, porn, games, you name it...

    ARE OBESE...

    PS: If you have two face book account one for "real friend", and second for "online friend" than you DO HAVE A PROBLEM!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    adult gamer, but not fat or unhappy

    To be really thorough, they should do a study of say 1000 males looking for conditions such as being overweight, depression, etc. and then see how those correlate to leisure activities, such as how many overweigh, depressed males watch a lot of TV, or lots of books or spend lots of time in chat rooms, or play video games, or spend an inordinate amount of time bowling or drinking at the corner bar, or never make it out of the house because they are always taking care of their kids or something.

    I play video games about 3 hours a day, but honestly I don't have much time for the other activities I mentioned, because, well, I am playing games :)

    Just singling out gamers for certain characteristics without looking at the prevalence of those same characteristics among the population who do other "sedentary" activities is rather biased. I think everyone knows that the world would be a better place if we all excercised regularly, said our prayers and ate our veggies, but sometimes you just want to go home and relax.

    Paris, because anyone with a WoW account knows her alter ego Haris I can't figure out another icon to use in conjunction with this post.

  53. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Bloody nonsense

    I very greatly doubt that gaming makes you fat. Gaming itself does not force you to have bad eating habits, nor does it tie you to the chair and remove your ability to exercise (or think, for that matter).

    Gaming is just another activity, a hobby that one can adopt or not.

    Now, I would be much more inclined to believe a study that declares that insecure, insufficiently-socialized people with poor communication skills and little respect for their own body (or a poor grasp of personal health) might have a greater than normal tendency of turning to computer gaming (and why not so-called social networks as well) and adopt it as a replacement for more conventionally social activities where their shortcomings would be much more apparent.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    No no no...

    I'm fat (well, slightly over-weight anyway) and depressed, and very nearly 35, but I don't play games. I used to, but with all the porn on the internet I just don't have the time any more...

  55. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    BMI not statistically helpful information, here.

    Due to the way the BMI works, being told one group has a greater BMI doesn't convey any solid information if we don't know their height. It means they are fatter or taller or both.

    Paris, because I know her BMI's all in those long legs.

  56. Matthew neuder

    bmi is useless

    if they base obesity entirely on bmi, i can just as easily say that most gamers are depressed, 35 year old weightlifters. I've got a lot of muscle on my frame, big shoulders, and i'm only 5'8. Hardly any fat on me (i'd like to get some better abs), but my bmi puts me in the obese range because muscle weighs 9x more than fat.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    35 YO

    Im not supprised that age is high. My 17 year old mate got asked for ID to prove he was 15 trying to buy a game yesterday!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really ?

    What about the lamers aged 12-34 that are dumb, lazy couch potatoes? Don't they qualify as worthless humanity, aka gamers? They might be crackheads instead of fat pigs, but they are still lamers. Can't exclude the clueless just because of age and drugs.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sounds like they are buttering us up for a video game tax. :(

  60. Antoinette Lacroix

    Define gamers

    I don't play "run of the mill" games, but enjoy simulations like LOMAC or Falcon 4.

    Age 34, a bit on the thin side and anything but depressed.

  61. lukewarmdog


    Need to target that state.

    Plenty of over 35 fit gamers on their books.

  62. lorenzo
    Paris Hilton

    Not me

    I'm not a gamer. Ha!

    I am fat and miserable hough


    Last time I was a gamer, Robotron, Chuckie Egg and Defender/Planetoid were my drugs of choice. Sigh

    Paris- Cos she'll be fat miserabel and over 35 one day too

  63. Some Beggar


    Most gamers hyper-sensitive about accusations of being fat and miserable, finds comments section survey.

  64. Leigh Smith
    Thumb Up

    @Some Beggar

    Most *people* hyper-sensitive about accusations of being fat and miserable, finds comments section survey.

    Fixed that for you.

  65. Stuart 37


    Im only depressed when my server goes down goddamit!!! Guns dont kill people, magic missiles do!!!

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    BMI is meaningless

    Funny, I work in IT and have a REALLY REALLY high BMI. Then they will tell me that the BMI doesn't apply to me because I can bench press 175 kg or squat 200 kg. Why mention it or even consider it at all?

    Paris coz I have special BMI for her

  67. Anonymous Coward

    The eyes are open, the mouth moves, but Mr Brain has long since departed

    Fed up with life? Check. Enjoy the odd computer game? Check. A bit of a tubster? Yup.

    And they even guessed my age right.

    People who are not physically active are inactive. That's why chairs were invented.

    If you can do something fun, communicate or get a job done without getting up off your butt and expending effort then why not?

    It would be silly not to. Wouldn't it?

  68. Chris - LG

    cause & effect

    By Hermes (nine inch) Conran

    "Which is cause and which effect?"

    That's definitely the question

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