By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:56 AM on 20th August 2009
Playing video games is often regarded as a pastime for children and teenagers.
But the average age of players is now 35 - and it seems they have similar problems to their younger counterparts, according to researchers.
Adults who spend hours in front of a games console every day are more likely to be fat and depressed than those who don't, a U.S. study found.
The average video gamer: Players are typically 35, overweight and suffering from depression, and rely more on the internet for social support
They also rely more on the internet - rather than flesh and blood friends and colleagues - for social support.
Investigators from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in San Diego, California, looked at the behaviour of more than 500 adults aged between 19 and 90.
Around 45 per cent of those who responded to a survey said they played video games.
Women players reported greater levels of depression and lower health status than the female non-players.
Male video game players reported greater levels of obesity and spent more time on the internet than male non-players.
And both sexes of video game players said they were more reliant on the internet for social support than non-players.
The study appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which also reported separate research showing that the average age of players in the U.S. is 35.
The study was unable to show whether video games lead to obesity and depression - or whether people with these problems are more attracted to gaming in the first place.
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