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BMC Pediatr. 2013 Sep 3;13:133. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-13-133.

Relation of adiposity, television and screen time in offspring to their parents.

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Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 1300 South Second St Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.



Few studies have examined the relations of adiposity and lifestyle factors in young offspring with their parents as children (parentschild) or at their current age (parentsadult). Therefore, we compared measures of adiposity and lifestyle in parentschild and parentsadult with their offspring.


Two generations (one parent and his/her offspring) participated in this study: 234 parents from a previously established cohort and 382 offspring. Parentsadult and offspring underwent measurements for height, weight, waist circumference, % body fat, visceral fat, and lifestyle habits. Participants were classified as normal weight, overweight, obese based on age-specific BMI criteria. Mixed model linear regression analysis evaluated the associations of adiposity and lifestyle factors of parentschild and parentsadult with that of their offspring, adjusting for age, sex, race, and family membership.


The prevalence of obesity was greater among offspring mean age 12.3 years compared to their parentschild mean age 12.6 years (18.4% vs 10.1%, p<0.001) even though hours of television (TV) watching were similar between the two generations as children (p=0.80). Sixty percent of parents (as children and adults) and offspring reported more than 2 hours of TV/day. Offspring of parents who were overweight and obese as children had greater BMI (all p<0.001) than offspring of parents who were normal weight as children. For both parentadult and offspring, adiposity was greater with greater total screen time.


Identifying high-risk families is important for early intervention of overweight, especially in children.

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