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A Healthy Gaming Experience: Weight Loss Through Virtual Reality

Virtual reality can make your weight loss a real life, visual reality. The sedentary past time of gaming—one of the roots of childhood obesity—has been proven to have positive applications in dieting. Researchers at Temple University employed the use of avatars—lifelike, virtual replications of real people—to demonstrate what healthy lifestyle habits look like. The findings were published in the July issue of the Journal of Diabetes, Science, and Technology.

Virtual Reality

Health professor Melissa Napolitano led the study, and said the 128 overweight women who participated were held accountable by observing their pixelated video game characters. “When an avatar looks like you, it increases self-efficacy, which is somebody’s confidence that they themselves have the ability to do that act,” she said. “You can visualize yourself doing something and realize, ‘Wow, it’s really not that hard.’”


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