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Too Much Video Gaming Not Addiction, Yet

The report, prepared by the AMA's Council on Science and Public Health, also says "dependence-like behaviors are more likely in children who start playing video games at younger ages."

Internet role-playing games involving multiple players, which can suck kids into an online fantasy world, are the most problematic, the report says. That's the kind of game Schulist says hooked him.

Kraus, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Chicago's Rush Medical Center, said behavior that looks like addiction in video-game players may be a symptom of social anxiety, depression or another psychiatric problem.

He praised the AMA report for recommending more research.

"They're trying very hard not to make a premature diagnosis," Kraus said.

In other action on the final day of the AMA's annual policy meeting, delegates:

_ Voted to have the AMA support government policies requiring fast-food restaurant chains to provide menus detailing nutritional information including calories, fat and sodium content. A key way to fighting the obesity epidemic "is that people know what they're eating," Davis said.

_ Recommended more research on a potential link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity. A measure had sought to have the AMA seek government restrictions on the popular sweetener and food labels declaring that excessive consumption of it may lead to obesity.

_ Rejected a move to lobby for limits on the noise levels of in-ear headphones used with iPods and other music-playing devices. A resolution supporting limits said devices with in-ear headphones can generate sound well above 100 decibels _ more noise than a chain saw makes and levels that have been linked with permanent hearing loss. AMA delegates voted instead to seek more research on the issue.

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On the Net:

AMA: http://www.ama-assn.org

On-Line Gamers Anonymous: http://www.olganon.org


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© 2007 The Associated Press