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PRESENCE 2: Predicting Sedentary Entertainment Choices and Effects

18 Years
35 Years
Not Enrolling
Obesity, Physical Activity

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Trial Information

PRESENCE 2: Predicting Sedentary Entertainment Choices and Effects

The purpose of this study is to investigate differences in behaviors and emotions during TV
watching and video game playing. Participants will be randomized to either watch TV, play
traditional button-based video games, or play motion-based video games for one hour while
palatable snack foods and sugar-sweetened beverages are provided within easy reaching
distance. Both energy intake as well as energy expenditure during a one-hour period will be
measured. All three conditions will be optimized to resemble typical in-home conditions as
much as possible.

An additional goal of this study is to provide insight into the possible pathways by which
TV and video games differentially affect intake and expenditure. Distraction from the real
world (also called presence or engagement) will be analyzed to determine if a) these
variables differ across groups and b) if these variables explain differences in energy
intake and/or expenditure. The TV group will watch TV shows using Netflix streaming service,
which will allow them to choose from a variety of popular shows without viewing commercials.
As the investigators are primarily interested in satiety and hand occupation effects, the
lack of commercials will allow us to eliminate food advertisements as a causal factor.

Finally, the third major goal of the study is to investigate how young adults choose
screen-based media. In the two video game arms, participants will be allowed to choose to
play any of 10 provided games, and in the TV group, participants will be able to choose from
hundreds of options. Choices of game/program, time spent on each game/program, and
psychological reactions to each game will be measured and analyzed.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Between the ages of 18 and 35 years old

Exclusion Criteria:

- Not at least a novice video game played (defined as having played games once or twice
within the last year)

- Has pre-existing medical condition that precludes physical activity

- Is unable to find transportation to the study center

- Does not agree to be videotaped during the experiment

- Does not agree or is unable to fast for two hours prior to the experiment

- Is pregnant or nursing

- Weighs more than 300 pounds (required by one of the game controllers)

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label

Outcome Measure:

Energy intake

Outcome Description:

Energy intake was measured by weighing available food and beverage containers before and after one-hour period in which participants watched TV/played video games, then calculating the differences in weights

Outcome Time Frame:

One-hour study period

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Elizabeth J Lyons, PhD, MPH

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

University of Texas


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

October 2010

Completion Date:

February 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Obesity
  • Physical Activity
  • Energy intake
  • Video games
  • Television
  • Physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Obesity



UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Chapel Hill, North Carolina