Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatrics. 2013 May;131(5):935-41. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-1197. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

Characteristics of screen media use associated with higher BMI in young adolescents.

Author information

1
Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. david.bickham@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study investigates how characteristics of young adolescents' screen media use are associated with their BMI. By examining relationships between BMI and both time spent using each of 3 screen media and level of attention allocated to use, we sought to contribute to the understanding of mechanisms linking media use and obesity.

METHODS:

We measured heights and weights of 91 13- to 15-year-olds and calculated their BMIs. Over 1 week, participants completed a weekday and a Saturday 24-hour time-use diary in which they reported the amount of time they spent using TV, computers, and video games. Participants carried handheld computers and responded to 4 to 7 random signals per day by completing onscreen questionnaires reporting activities to which they were paying primary, secondary, and tertiary attention.

RESULTS:

Higher proportions of primary attention to TV were positively associated with higher BMI. The difference between 25th and 75th percentiles of attention to TV corresponded to an estimated +2.4 BMI points. Time spent watching television was unrelated to BMI. Neither duration of use nor extent of attention paid to video games or computers was associated with BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings support the notion that attention to TV is a key element of the increased obesity risk associated with TV viewing. Mechanisms may include the influence of TV commercials on preferences for energy-dense, nutritionally questionable foods and/or eating while distracted by TV. Interventions that interrupt these processes may be effective in decreasing obesity among screen media users.

KEYWORDS:

adolescents; computer; ecological momentary assessment; obesity; television; video games

PMID:
23569098
PMCID:
PMC3639454
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2012-1197
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center