This exploratory subgroup analysis indicated a consistent intervention effect across subgroups, suggesting active video games could help address weight gain in boys and girls, minority and indigenous groups, and varying levels of fitness. Many health strategies aim to both improve the overall health of the population as well as reduce inequalities within the population. However, these aims are not necessarily achieved in tandem, and interventions that improve overall health may in fact serve to widen the inequality divide via differences in access or uptake . From this perspective, these preliminary findings suggest that an active video games intervention did not appear to perpetuate existing ethnic inequalities in overweight and obesity, as the intervention operated consistently across groups. In addition, in 2005 video game console ownership was slightly higher among Māori (46%) than non-Māori (31%–44%) in New Zealand  suggesting that indigenous groups have at least equal access to this type of intervention.
The eGAME trial is the largest study of its type conducted to date, and the sample sizes for the subgroups of interest are larger than many small studies published in the literature. As a standard two-arm RCT, the trial was powered on the primary outcome only, using all randomised participants. The results of all other analyses, including secondary outcomes  and mediation  reported elsewhere, and the subgroup analyses reported here, are therefore exploratory in the sense that they are considered as hypothesis generating rather than confirmed findings.
Post hoc power analyses were not considered appropriate. However, balanced recruitment across ethnicity and gender was sought in order to maximise the statistical power and efficiency of pre-specified subgroup analyses. Despite significant effort, this was not achieved. More than 40% of the sample was Māori or Pacific, but the recruitment target of one third each of Māori, Pacific and New Zealand European/Other was not met. Similarly, more than 70% of participants were male. Despite these imbalances, this study remains one of very few that has specifically targeted minority ethnic groups for participation and reported results separately for these groups .
Despite their limitations, subgroup analyses remain a viable approach, and to date provide some of the only available evidence on the effects of interventions on health inequalities. In this study, the difference in treatment effect across subgroups was small, raising issues of cost and feasibility for future trials aiming for sufficient power to detect subgroup differences. Therefore, with appropriately cautious inferences, this study adds to a sparse evidence base.
In conclusion, this active video games intervention operated consistently across important subgroups. These preliminary findings support the use of these games as a pragmatic public health intervention. Researchers interested in pragmatic, community-based interventions should continue to consider the implications of their interventions on health inequalities.