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Author Affiliations: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland.
Objective To examine associations of television viewing with eating behaviors in a representative sample of US adolescents.
Design Cross-sectional survey.
Setting Public and private schools in the United States during the 2009-2010 school year.
Participants A total of 12 642 students in grades 5 to 10 (mean [SD] age, 13.4 [0.09] years; 86.5% participation).
Main Exposures Television viewing (hours per day) and snacking while watching television (days per week).
Main Outcome Measures Eating (≥1 instance per day) fruit, vegetables, sweets, and sugary soft drinks; eating at a fast food restaurant (≥1 d/wk); and skipping breakfast (≥1 d/wk).
Results Television viewing was inversely related to intake of fruit (adjusted odds ratio, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.88-0.96) and vegetables (0.95; 0.91-1.00) and positively related to intake of candy (1.18; 1.14-1.23) and fast food (1.14; 1.09-1.19) and skipping breakfast (1.06; 1.02-1.10) after adjustment for socioeconomic factors, computer use, and physical activity. Television snacking was related to increased intake of fruit (adjusted odds ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.02-1.10), candy (1.20; 1.16-1.24), soda (1.15; 1.11-1.18), and fast food (1.09; 1.06-1.13), independent of television viewing. The relationships of television viewing with fruit and vegetable intake and with skipping breakfast were essentially unchanged after adjustment for television snacking; the relationships with intake of candy, soda, and fast food were moderately attenuated. Age and race/ethnicity modified relationships of television viewing with soda and fast food intake and with skipping breakfast.
Conclusion Television viewing was associated with a cluster of unhealthy eating behaviors in US adolescents after adjustment for socioeconomic and behavioral covariates.
Lipsky LM, Iannotti RJ. Associations of Television Viewing With Eating Behaviors in the 2009 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(5):465–472. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1407
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