A Systematic Review of Health Videogames on Childhood Obesity Prevention and Intervention

Amy Shirong Lu, Hadi Kharrazi, Fardad Gharghabi, Debbe Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Childhood obesity is a global epidemic. Health videogames are an emerging intervention strategy to combat childhood obesity. This systematic review examined published research on the effect of health videogames on childhood obesity. Fourteen articles examining 28 health videogames published between 2005 and 2013 in English were selected from 2433 articles identified through five major search engines. Results indicated that academic interest in using health videogames for childhood obesity prevention has increased during this time. Most games were commercially available. Most studies were of short duration. Diverse player and game play patterns have been identified. Most studies involved players of both genders with slightly more boys. The majority of players were non-white. Most studies had the players play the games at home, whereas some extended the play setting to school and sports/recreational facilities. Most of the games were commercially available. Positive outcomes related to obesity were observed in about 40 percent of the studies, all of which targeted overweight or obese participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalGames for Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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