Andrea H. Rasbold, Susan B. Sisson, Karina R. Lora, Cassie M. Mitchell
Background: Excessive television viewing has been associated with obesity and greater food intake but research has rarely focused on young children. This study aimed to determine relationships between home television access, dinnertime food consumption and obesity among children aged 3–5 years. Methods: Caregivers of children (n=72) reported: 1) children’s bedroom television access; 2) number of televisions in the home; 3) frequency of child eating dinner in front of the television; 4) presence of television viewable from dining areas; and a three-day dietary recall of child’s dinner food intake. Total kilocalories (kcal), fruit and vegetable servings, and body mass index percentiles (BMI%ile) were calculated. Results: Children were 3.7±0.7 years old, 43% male, 47% white, 26% overweight or obese, and mean BMI%iles were 68.6±28.8. At dinner, children consumed 426±146 kcals, 0.12±0.25 fruit, 0.59±0.59 vegetable, and 0.69±0.58 combined fruit and vegetable. Children without bedroom television’s consumed more vegetables (0.80±0.67 vs. 0.39±0.41; t=3.091, p=0.003) and combined fruit and vegetables (0.90±0.66 vs. 0.5±0.44; t=2.963, p=0.004). Children with ≥3 televisions in the home had higher BMI%iles than those with ≤2 televisions (68.8±27.3 vs. 54.3±29.3; F=4.629, p=0.035). Neither frequency of dining while watching television nor presence of television viewable from dining areas were associated with the BMI%ile. Conclusions: Greater television access in the home, including bedroom televisions and the overall number of televisions, is associated with lower fruit and vegetable intake and higher BMI%ile among young children. This study supports recommendations that children should not have bedroom television access and could help inform future childhood obesity prevention and intervention strategies.
Published Date: 2016-02-21;