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Am J Prev Med. 2007 Dec;33(6):439-43.

Television viewing and hypertension in obese children.

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Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California, Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego 92103-845, USA.



Television viewing is strongly associated with an increased risk of childhood and adolescent obesity. However, the association between TV viewing and hypertension in children is unknown. This study aimed to identify whether TV watching is associated with hypertension in obese children.


Children seen for obesity, aged 4 to 17 years, were evaluated at three pediatric centers from 2003 to 2005. In 2006-2007, a logistic regression model estimated the odds of hypertension for hours of daily TV time controlling for race, site, and body mass index (BMI) z-score.


A total of 546 subjects, with a mean age of 12 years, were evaluated. The children had a mean BMI of 35.5+/-9.3 kg/m(2) (98.7th+/-0.8 percentile, z-score 2.54+/-0.4). TV time was positively correlated with the severity of obesity. After controlling for race, site, and BMI z-score, both the severity of obesity and daily TV time were significant independent predictors of the presence of hypertension. Children watching 2 to 4 hours of TV had 2.5 times the odds of hypertension compared with children watching 0 to <2 hours. The odds of hypertension for children watching 4 or more hours of TV were 3.3 times greater than for children watching 0 to <2 hours of TV.


In obese children, the amount of time spent watching TV is associated with both hypertension and the severity of obesity. Thus, TV viewing is a potential target for addressing hypertension in obese children.

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