Children's Food Consumption during Television Viewing

Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School Of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5705, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.77). 07/2004; 79(6):1088-94.
Source: PubMed


Television viewing is associated with childhood obesity. Eating during viewing and eating highly advertised foods are 2 of the hypothesized mechanisms through which television is thought to affect children's weight.
Our objectives were to describe the amounts and types of foods that children consume while watching television, compare those types with the types consumed at other times of the day, and examine the associations between children's body mass index (BMI) and the amounts and types of foods consumed during television viewing.
Data were collected from 2 samples. The first sample consisted of ethnically diverse third-grade children, and the second consisted predominantly of Latino fifth-grade children. Three nonconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls were collected from each child. For each eating episode reported, children were asked whether they had been watching television. Height and weight were measured by using standard methods and were used to calculate BMI.
On weekdays and weekend days, 17-18% and approximately 26% of total daily energy, respectively, were consumed during television viewing in the 2 samples. Although the fat content of the foods consumed during television viewing did not differ significantly from that of the foods consumed with the television off, less soda, fast food, fruit, and vegetables were consumed with the television on. The amount of food consumed during television viewing was not associated with children's BMI, but in the third-grade sample, the fat content of foods consumed during television viewing was associated with BMI.
A significant proportion of children's daily energy intake is consumed during television viewing, and the consumption of high-fat foods on weekends may be associated with BMI in younger children.

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    • "The time constraint may also impact the mother's ability to produce household goods, such as breakfast, that improve health. Moreover, weight status may increase because time constraints have a detrimental influence on eating patterns (Matheson et al. 2004; Taylor et al. 2005); skipping breakfast is highly correlated with children's likelihood of being overweight (Dubois et al. 2006). Maternal labor supply also increases household income, which we expect to have a beneficial effect on adolescent health. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the relationship between adolescent obesity and maternal employment, and focuses on the possible pathways and factors that mediate this relationship, including television viewing, activities, eating habits, and allowance. We extend existing knowledge about this relationship using the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in the years 1996 to 2001. Fixed effect and instrumental variable models are estimated to examine endogeneity issues. We find that maternal employment is negatively related to the pathway variables. In contrast to previous research, we find little indication of a relationship between maternal employment and adolescent obesity. These results imply that policy needs to focus on the activities of adolescents while their parents work.
    Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 06/2014; 36(2):287-308. DOI:10.1093/aepp/ppt023 · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies on the association between TV viewing and soft drink consumption are however contradictory. Some have found a positive association (Boynton-Jarrett et al. 2003; Feldman et al. 2007; Giammattei et al. 2003; McGowan et al. 2012; Miller et al. 2008; Péneau et al. 2009; Van Strien et al. 2009), others no or negative association (Dubois et al. 2008; Laurson et al. 2008; Matheson et al. 2004). To our knowledge, none have taken social norms into consideration. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background/objectives: This longitudinal study describes the relationship between young children's screen time, dietary habits and anthropometric measures. The hypothesis was that television viewing and other screen activities at baseline result in increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and increased BMI, BMI z-score and waist to height ratio (WHtR) two years later. A second hypothesis was that SSB consumption mediates the association between the screen activities and changes in the anthropometric measures. Subjects/methods: The study is a part of the prospective cohort study IDEFICS ("Identification and prevention of dietary and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants"), investigating diet, lifestyle and social determinants of obesity in 2 to 9-year-olds in eight European countries (baseline n=16,225, two-year follow-up; n=11,038). Anthropometry was objectively measured, and behaviours were parent-reported. Results: The main hypothesis was supported, but the second hypothesis was not confirmed. The odds ratio of being in the highest quintile of % change in WHtR was 1.26 (95% CI: 1.17-1.36) and in BMI 1.22 (95% CI: 1.13-1.31), for each hour per day watching television. The odds ratio of having increased SSB consumption was 1.19 (95% CI: 1.09-1.29) for each hour per day watching TV. The associations for total screen time were slightly weaker. Conclusions: The results indicate substantial effects of TV viewing and other screen activities for young children, both on their consumption of sugary drinks and on an increase in BMI and central obesity. Our findings suggest that television viewing seems to have a stronger effect on food habits and anthropometry than other screen activities in this age group.
    European journal of clinical nutrition 11/2013; 68(2). DOI:10.1038/ejcn.2013.234 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    • "Because ad-free noncommercial children's TV channels like those in Germany and Sweden are the exception, these hours of viewing bombard children with advertising [26]. As a result, in the USA, foods consumed in front of the TV account for about 20–25% of children's daily energy intake [27]. In the EU, the Audiovisual Media Directive limits product placement and commercial sponsoring during children's programmes while still leaving member states adequate leeway in audiovisual media regulation; nevertheless, limits are stricter in some EU countries than in others [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To understand the rising prevalence of childhood obesity in affluent societies, it is necessary to take into account the growing obesity infrastructure, which over past decades has developed into an obesogenic environment. This study examines the effects of one of the constituent factors of consumer societies and a potential contributory factor to childhood obesity: commercial food communication targeted to children. Specifically, it investigates the impact of TV advertising on children's food knowledge and food preferences and correlates these findings with their weight status. Evaluations of traditional information- and education-based interventions suggest that they may not sustainably change food patterns. Based on prior consumer research, we propose five hypotheses, which we then test using a subsample from the IDEFICS study, a large-scale pan-European intervention study on childhood obesity. The results indicate that advertising has divergent effects on children's food knowledge and preferences and that food knowledge is unrelated to food preferences. This finding has important implications for both future research and public policy.
    Journal of obesity 04/2013; 2013(19):408582. DOI:10.1155/2013/408582
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