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Title: Television Viewing, Computer Use, Obesity, And Adiposity In US Preschool Children

item Mendoza, Jason

Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Mendoza, J., Zimmerman, F., Christakis, D. 2008. Television viewing, computer use, obesity, and adiposity in US preschool children [abstract]. Seventh Annual Conference of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, May 21-24, 2008, Banff, Alberta, Canada. p. 98.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We tested whether three sedentary activities were associated with obesity and adiposity in U.S. preschool children: 1) watching >2 hours/day of TV/videos, 2) computer use, and 3) >2 hours/day of media use (TV/videos and computer use). We conducted a cross-sectional study using nationally representative data on children, aged 2-5 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2002. Our main outcome measures were 1) weight status: normal versus overweight or obese, and 2) adiposity: the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfolds (mm). Our main exposures were assessed by parent recall: TV/video viewing (2 hours/day), computer use (users versus non-users), and media use (2 hours/day). We used multivariate Poisson and linear regression analyses, adjusting for covariates, to test the association between the main exposures and a child's weight status or adiposity. Watching >2 hours/day of TV/videos was associated with being overweight or obese (Prevalence ratio=1.34, 95% CI [1.07, 1.66]) and with higher skinfold thicknesses (beta=1.08, 95% CI [0.19, 1.96]). Computer use >0 hours/day was associated with higher skinfold thicknesses (beta=0.56, 95% CI [0.04, 1.07]), while media use had borderline significance (beta=0.85, 95% CI [-0.04, 1.75], P=0.06). Watching >2 hours/day of TV/videos in US preschool-age children was associated with a higher risk of being overweight or obese and higher adiposity - findings supporting national guidelines to limit preschool children's media use.