Active play and screen time in US children aged 4 to 11 years in relation to sociodemographic and weight status characteristics: A nationally representative cross-sectional analysis

Division of Epidemiology, The Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.26). 11/2008; 8(1):366. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-366
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The high prevalence of childhood obesity underscores the importance of monitoring population trends in children's activity and screen time, and describing associations with child age, gender, race/ethnicity, and weight status. Our objective was to estimate the proportion of young children in the US who have low levels of active play or high levels of screen time, or who have both these behaviors, and to describe associations with age, gender, race/ethnicity, and weight status.
We analyzed data collected during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2001-2004, a US nationally representative cross-sectional study. We studied 2964 children aged 4.00 to 11.99 years. Our main outcomes were reported weekly times that the child played or exercised hard enough to sweat or breathe hard (active play), daily hours the child watched television/videos, used computers, or played computer games (screen time), and the combination of low active play and high screen time. Low active play was defined as active play 6 times or less per week. High screen time was defined as more than 2 hours per day. We accounted for the complex survey design in analyses and report proportions and 95% confidence intervals. We used Wald Chi-square to test for differences between proportions. To identify factors associated with low active play and high screen time, we used multivariate logistic regression.
Of US children aged 4 to 11 years, 37.3% (95% confidence interval, 34.1% to 40.4%) had low levels of active play, 65.0% (95% CI, 61.4% to 68.5%) had high screen time, and 26.3% (95% CI, 23.8% to 28.9%) had both these behaviors. Characteristics associated with a higher probability of simultaneously having low active play and high screen time were older age, female gender, non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity, and having a BMI-for-age > or =95th percentile of the CDC growth reference.
Many young children in the US are reported to have physical activity and screen time behaviors that are inconsistent with recommendations for healthy pediatric development. Children who are overweight, approaching adolescence, girls, and non-Hispanic blacks may benefit most from public health policies and programs aimed at these behaviors.

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    • "Today, computers and electronic games have become an important part of education and this is a worldwide trend (Anderson et al., 2008; Christakis et al., 2004; Iannotti et al., 2007; Jaruratanasirikul et al., 2009; Phillips et al., 1995; Donald et al., 2011). Many different game devices have been developed in the last two decades. "
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    Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 02/2015; 176:476-482. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.499
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    • "Parents’ screen behaviors were reported by only one of the parents and may be inaccurate and subject to recall bias. The measures of ST behaviors have not been validated against objective measures, but they are comparable to measures used by other studies.24,25 Also, we understand that using 2 h/day as a cut-off point may not necessarily be an appropriate approach for Chinese adolescents, but such a cut-off makes our findings comparable to those of other studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Rapid urbanization in China has led to a proliferation of electronic entertainment media among youth. Prolonged screen time (ST; includes watching television and playing on computers, video game consoles, or mobile phones) is linked to poor health profiles. The aim of this study was to report recreational ST behaviors and ST correlates among Chinese adolescents living in two regions with different degrees of urbanization. Methods A cross-sectional, school-based survey (n = 3461 adolescents; aged 12–14 years old) living in inner-city Shanghai and a peri-urban region of Hangzhou. Students completed a questionnaire including family characteristics, daily ST, and information on family environment related to screen use. Recreational ST was categorized into two groups according to recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (< or ≥2 h/day). Parents reported their own ST and also reported educational attainment as a proxy for socioeconomic status. Results ST was higher among boys than girls and on weekends than weekdays. Peri-urban girls were more likely to exceed 2 h/day ST compared to inner-city girls on weekends. Having a father with no university degree, mother’s TV viewing ≥2 h/day, no ST rules at home, and eating meals in front of the TV were associated with higher ST on both weekdays and weekends, and regional differences were found for weekend ST. Conclusions TV viewing and playing on the computer were the most prevalent ST behaviors among Chinese adolescents. Mobile phone playing was less prevalent but persistent throughout the week. More population-level surveillance and research is needed to monitor the trends in ST behaviors and to better understand the characteristics of those who are at risk.
    Journal of Epidemiology 06/2014; 24(5). DOI:10.2188/jea.JE20140006 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    • "Parents are now contending with the opportunities and difficulties resulting from their children's exposure to rapidly changing and engaging digital technologies and activities. While health studies are identifying significant risks from over exposure to digital technologies (including television) and the often violent content that is made available to, at times, very young children (Garvis and Pendergast, 2011; Anderson et al., 2008; Ko et al., 2005). The desired outcome was to help parents manage their young children's use of digital devices and develop developmental appropriate behaviour patterns. "
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