Stability of television viewing and electronic game/computer use in a prospective cohort study of Australian children: relationship with body mass index
Hesketh, Kylie, Wake, Melissa, Graham, Melissa and Waters, Elizabeth 2007, Stability of television viewing and electronic game/computer use in a prospective cohort study of Australian children: relationship with body mass index, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 4, no. 60, pp. 1-24.
Background While much cross-sectional data is available, there have been few longitudinal investigations of patterns of electronic media use in children. Further, the possibility of a bi-directional relationship between electronic media use and body mass index in children has not been considered. This study aimed to describe longitudinal patterns of television viewing and electronic game/computer use, and investigate relationships with body mass index (BMI). Methods This prospective cohort study was conducted in elementary schools in Victoria, Australia. 1278 children aged 5–10 years at baseline and 8–13 years at follow-up had their BMI calculated, from measured height and weight, and transformed to z-scores based on US 2000 growth data. Weight status (non-overweight, overweight and obese) was based on international BMI cut-off points. Weekly television viewing and electronic game/computer use were reported by parents, these were summed to generate total weekly screen time. Children were classified as meeting electronic media use guidelines if their total screen time was ≤14 hrs/wk. Results Electronic media use increased over the course of the study; 40% met guidelines at baseline but only 18% three years later. Television viewing and electronic game/computer use tracked moderately and total screen time was positively associated with adiposity cross-sectionally. While weaker relationships with adiposity were observed longitudinally, baseline z-BMI and weight status were positively associated with follow-up screen time and baseline screen time was positively associated with z-BMI and weight status at follow-up. Children who did not meet guidelines at baseline had significantly higher z-BMI and were more likely to be classified as overweight/obese at follow-up.
Conclusion Electronic media use in Australian elementary school children is high, increases with age and tracks over time. There appears to be a bi-directional association suggesting that interventions targeting reductions in either screen time or adiposity may have a positive effect on both screen time and adiposity.
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Field of Research
111704 Community Child Health
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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