Television viewing a predictor of weight change in children over time

May 24, 2017 by Melva Robertson
television
Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain

Researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University observed little effect of health behaviors, including eating habits, television viewing, and physical activity, on change in weight among children.

Conducted by Solveig Cunningham, PhD and Sandra Jackson, researchers in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health, the team analyzed data from the Kindergarten Cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study of US children to assess the effects of behavioral factors such as , (fruits, vegetables, fast foods, and beverages), sedentary habits () and physical activities on weight gain over time. After assessing Body Mass Index (BMI) scores from kindergarten throughout childhood, the study results indicated that BMI was highly stable over time between Kindergarten and 8th grade. However, of the behaviors assessed, the team determined that television viewing habits were the primary predictor of weight gain over time.

"We found that that are central to recommendations for preventing and reversing childhood obesity - television viewing, , and dietary intake – for the most part did not affect children's changes in weight; instead, children's weight status was highly stable over time," explains Cunningham. The more striking finding was the effect of weight on behaviors. When children became heavier, they started to watch more television and be less active, indicating that overweight in children may negatively affect their behavior.

Given the stability of children's weight status in elementary and middle school, researchers recommend that future interventions target efforts for younger children under the age of five.

Complete findings are available in Preventive Medicine.

Explore further: Kindergarten weight strong indicator of childhood obesity

Related Stories

Kindergarten weight strong indicator of childhood obesity

January 29, 2014
A recent study by researchers from Emory's Rollins School of Public Health suggests that development of new childhood obesity cases, or incidence, is largely established by kindergarten. The study showed that overweight kindergarteners ...

Children with lower social skills at greater risk of obesity

November 18, 2014
Children with low social competence, or the skills and behaviors necessary to engage in appropriate and positive social interactions, are at an increased likelihood of obesity.

Just an hour of TV a day linked to unhealthy weight in kindergartners

April 26, 2015
New research shows that it doesn't take much for kids to be considered couch potatoes.

Limiting TV time—Effective strategy for preventing weight gain in children

August 27, 2012
Reducing television viewing may be an effective strategy to prevent excess weight gain among adolescents, according to a new study released in the September/October 2012 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Childhood obesity and overweight rates rise during summer break, not during school year

November 2, 2016
Increases in overweight and obesity rates among young children occur during summer vacations, not during the school year, according to new research from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

Does a parent's perception of their child's weight impact on child weight gain?

April 21, 2016
Researchers from the University of Liverpool and Florida State University College of Medicine have conducted a study on the effect the misperception of a child's weight by their parents can have on a child's actual weight.

Recommended for you

Link between obesity and cancer is not widely recognized

November 17, 2017
A new study published in the Journal of Public Health has shown that the majority of people in the United Kingdom do not understand the connection between weight issues and cancer. Obesity is associated with thirteen types ...

Reversing negative effects of maternal obesity

November 8, 2017
A drug that increases energy metabolism may lead to a new approach to prevent obesity in children born to overweight mothers, UNSW Sydney researchers have found.

Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesity: study

November 7, 2017
Encouraging children to drink plain water with their school lunches could prevent more than half a million youths in the U.S. from becoming overweight or obese, and trim the medical costs and indirect societal costs associated ...

Why do some obese people have 'healthier' fat tissue than others?

November 1, 2017
One little understood paradox in the study of obesity is that overweight people who break down fat at a high rate are less healthy than peers who store their fat more effectively.

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults now obese (Update)

October 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Almost forty percent adults in the United States are now obese, continuing an ever-expanding epidemic of obesity that's expected to lead to sicker Americans and higher health care costs.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.