To investigate, researchers studied 22 normal weight teen boys. Researchers had the teenagers come to a research lab on two separate days: on one morning, they played a soccer video game for an hour, followed by lunch; on another morning, they sat quietly for an hour before lunchtime.
The boys then went home and kept a record of what they ate for the rest of the day.
Overall, researchers found that the teens spent more energy when they played video games than when relaxing. But their food intake more than compensated for the energy they burned that day, netting them an extra 163 calories.
Researchers aren't clear why the boys ate more after playing video games, noting neither the boys' self-ratings of hunger nor their levels of appetite hormones appeared to be affected by playing video games. However, these latest findings add to the growing body of evidence linking kids' screen time -- from TV and computers -- to the odds of being overweight.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.