Speed Reads

The biggest loser

The government spent $10 million to make a video game about escaping a town of fat people

The stereotype of an obese person staying inside playing video games apparently didn't faze the federal government when it decided to invest more than $10 million in taxpayer money to fight obesity — with a video game.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that The National Institutes of Health (NIH) "paid for the development of two video games that promote healthier eating, including 'Escape from Diab,' a 'nightmare' fictional city where people are only allowed to eat junk food."

One NIH grant states that games with "immersive stories" help "capture children's attention and permit behavior change messages to get through." The games were tested on about 100 children between the ages of 10 and 12. Studies found that "children increased the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat by 0.67 servings, but that playing a video game did not increase their physical activity levels."

The Baylor College of Medicine is now using a $1,760,807 NIH grant for further research on the obesity-fighting games.