Nintendo, American heart group join to tackle obesity

The American Heart Association has teamed up with Japanese entertainment giant Nintendo to harness its Wii consoles and encourage Americans to exercise more to counter a soaring obesity problem.

Nintendo, whose Wii consoles with motion-controlling sensors took markets by storm in 2006, is working with the AHA in order to cut the risks of heart disease among Americans, their websites said.

According to the AHA nearly 70 percent of Americans do not get enough regular physical activity. Obesity, a major health problem in the US, is a determinant of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in the country.

The association said that the average American spends more than eight hours a day sitting and recommends all adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week and 60 minutes daily for children.

Nintendo will carry the AHA logo on its active-play video game products including the Wii, the Wii Fit Plus, and the Wii Sports Resort.

The US has seen a dramatic increase in obesity during the past 20 years with roughly one in three adults considered obese, according to government statistics.

Nintendo hopes to reignite the Wii's sales, which have declined since its launch, and is banking on software aimed at increased physical activity as competitors such as Sony prepare to launch their own motion-sensing equipment.

The Kyoto-based company said earlier this month that games such as "Wii Sports Resort" and "Wii Fit Plus" helped raise the console's total lifetime sales to 70.93 million units, a record in the firm's history.

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