January 20, 2007

It's official. Wii use can cause weight loss

Stay fit while playing console games, great!

(Reuters) LOS ANGELES, Jan 19 (Reuters Life!) - Video gamers who'd rather battle virtual villains than fight the flab can take heart. Use of the new Nintendo Wii can lead to weight loss.

After six weeks and 21 hours of total game play on Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s (7974.OS) new game console, Philadelphia resident Mickey DeLorenzo is nine pounds (4 kgs) lighter and making a splash with his new svelte self.

"I'm on my 15 minutes here," he joked, referring to the famous Andy Warhol quote about 15 minutes of fame, in a telephone interview with Reuters on Friday.

DeLorenzo, 25, came up with the idea for his experiment after he and his fianc�e ended up breathless and glistening with sweat after virtually pummeling each other in the "Wii Sports" boxing game.

"On the fly, as I was typing my blog posts, I set up a daily regimen and went at it 100 percent," said DeLorenzo, who tipped the scales at 181 pounds -- where he's been for the last couple years -- when he started the experiment on December 3.

He ate as usual and didn't deprive himself during the holidays. The only thing that changed was the addition of daily, 30-minute sessions of Wii tennis, bowling, boxing or baseball.

DeLorenzo chronicled his progress on his blog at WiiNintendo.net, which includes weight-loss charts and "before" and "after" pictures, as well as shots recalling Rocky Balboa, the City of Brotherly Love's most famous fictional resident -- with Wiimotes.

While he expected to shed a couple pounds, DeLorenzo got more than he bargained for.

"Seeing the 'before' and 'after' pictures, I am going to keep doing it. I am going to add some weights to the next round because I don't want to shrink to nothing," said DeLorenzo, who said he had never before dieted or worked out to lose weight.

More projects are already in the works.

A fitness Web site already has asked him to help it create Wii workouts and he already owns the Internet address WiiWorkout.net, which for now, links to his blog.

He's betting that Nintendo will soon have its own workout game. And no, the Japanese game giant hasn't called.

Visits to DeLorenzo's blog have jumped -- he's been the subject of numerous blog posts and news stories on major mainstream media outlets -- but his fame has not come without a price.

The bill for the extra Web traffic was $80 two days ago and has likely climbed. He's adding ads to offset the cost, but said even if he comes out in the red on this venture, it's all been worth it.

"It's been a wild ride. It's been great."

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