Association between the family environment and television viewing in Australian children

van Zutphen, M., Bell, Colin, Kremer, Peter and Swinburn, Boyd 2007, Association between the family environment and television viewing in Australian children, Journal of paediatrics and child health, vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 458-463, doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01111.x.

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Title Association between the family environment and television viewing in Australian children
Author(s) van Zutphen, M.
Bell, ColinORCID iD for Bell, Colin
Kremer, PeterORCID iD for Kremer, Peter
Swinburn, Boyd
Journal name Journal of paediatrics and child health
Volume number 43
Issue number 6
Start page 458
End page 463
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007-05-23
ISSN 1034-4810
Keyword(s) child
Summary Aim: To describe the time children spend watching television (TV) and to assess associations between TV viewing time, the family environment and weight status.

Methods: Parents reported the amount of time children watched TV/video both for ‘the previous school day’ and ‘usually’ and described aspects of the family environment influencing TV access as part of a large cross-sectional study in the Barwon South-western region of Victoria, Australia. Child weight status was  based on measured height and weight. All data were collected in 2003/2004.

Results: A total of 1926 children aged 4–12 years participated. Parent-reported mean ± SE TV time for the previous school day was 83 ± 1.5 min. Children who lived in a family with tight rules governing TV viewing time (22%), or who never watched TV during dinner (33%), or had only one TV in the household (23%) or had no TV in their bedroom (81%) had significantly less TV time than their  counterparts. Overweight or obese children had more TV time than healthy weight children 88 ± 2.9 versus 82 ± 1.7 min per day (P = 0.04). They were also more likely to live in a household where children had a TV in their bedroom than healthy weight children (25% vs. 17%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Strategies to reduce TV time should be included as part of broader strategies to prevent childhood obesity. They should include messages to parents about not having a TV in children’s bedrooms, encouraging family rules restricting TV viewing, and not having the TV on during dinner.

Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01111.x
Field of Research 111704 Community Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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