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Ethn Dis. 2004 Summer;14(3):336-9.

TV viewing habits and body mass index among South Carolina Head Start children.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA.


The present study tested the hypothesis that TV viewing habits and overweight would be associated among 4-year-old children. A convenience sample of Head Start students was enrolled (N=148). Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on their children's TV viewing habits for a typical weekday, and for Saturday and Sunday. Height and weight of the children were assessed by the authors. As BMI increased, average hours of TV viewing increased slightly. Nearly 97% of children whose BMI was greater than the 95th percentile for age and sex watched more than one hour of TV, compared with less than 80% of children below the 95th percentile (chi2=6.0, P=.01). The present study suggests that TV viewing habits relate to BMI among 4-year old children to approximately the same degree as in older cohorts.

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