TV and videogames have turned generations of kids into a nation of fatties -- but researchers say go ahead and hand your kid that game controller anyway.

Just be sure they play those "active" videogames that have them moving around a little in front of the screen.

C'mon -- we've been through this already!

There hasn't been a videogame yet that's proven to help anyone lose weight, no matter how much ridiculous waving and flailing is involved -- and the new study actually proves it.

Researchers recruited 322 overweight kids between the ages of 10 and 14 who spent at least two hours a week playing videogames that involve no movement beyond the usual wrist and thumb workout.

Half were told to keep right on doing what they were doing... while the other half were told to switch to Sony's "EyeToy" exercise games.

And boy, those EyeToys must really get kids to sweat -- because six months later, these young tubbies weighed exactly what they had weighed at the start of the study.

That's ZERO weight loss in a group of overweight adolescents -- but the researchers called it a victory for "active" games because the other kids in the study gained 2 or 3 pounds.

They say kids shouldn't play more videogames (no kidding!) -- but as long as they're playing some games, they should switch to the active ones.

Here's a better idea -- pull the plug on the games, the TV and the computer, take away the cellphone, and send the kids out into the backyard to play instead

Lock the door if that's what it takes to keep them outside. It's for their own good... and your own sanity.