Lots of people dream of becoming fit and slim. Some of them keep to various diets, others prefer to exhaust themselves with endless physical exercises.
But in Japan people lose weight by playing video games. Dance Dance Revolution, a popular Japanese video game makes players leap around on a platform as instructed by arrows - up, down, right or left - to a throbbing techno beat. The moves get faster and harder as players get better, making the game arduous, addictive and inadvertently aerobic.
Matt Keane, now 21, became addicted by Dance Dance Revolution less than a year ago. At the start his weight was 209 kilograms. Dancing at the game platform he lost 68 kilograms.
A recent Pennsylvania study of 35 adolescents found that, on average, Dance Dance Revolution elevated players' heart rates to double their resting level over a 45-minute period, according to one of the study's coordinators, Stephen Yang.
"There is no doubt the games are great exercise," Yang said, "but first and foremost, they're fun." Usually a sedentary activity, video games might seem an unlikely weapon in the battle of the bulge. Earlier video games were blamed even for mass suicides. But over the past few years "exertainment" - a merging of exercise and electronic entertainment - has helped the industry's image as well as its profit margins, says the AP.
With dance simulation video games making exercise fun and hip, parents, teachers and doctors are starting to pay attention. And manufactures are hoping to capitalize.
Obesity is quite a problem for many societies. Experts differ in ways to struggle obesity. Some of them advise to drink milk, others suggest not to watch TV, but now we know the correct answer - Dance Dance Revolution is the answer to all the health problems.
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