162749 Parental limits on TV watching: Association with children's total screen time and physical activity

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jennifer L. Spadano-Gasbarro, PhD , Public Health Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Mary L. Greaney, PhD , Public Health Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Christine Horan, MPH , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Solomon Mezgebu, MSc , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
S. Bryn Austin, ScD , Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Wee Lock Ooi, DrPH , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, MA
Karen E. Peterson, RD, DSc , Nutrition and Society Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
We examined the relationship of parental limits on TV viewing and children's physical activity (PA), television watching (TV; including videos) and total screen time (TV, video games, non-homework computer use). Self-reported data are from a baseline survey administered Fall 2005 in 47 Massachusetts middle schools participating in the Healthy Choices Collaborative Intervention, a multi-component school-based intervention aimed at improving PA and dietary behaviors. Among 19,580 6-8th graders, 13% reported their parents always limit how much TV they watch compared to 39% whose parents sometimes limit and 49% who “can watch as much TV” as they want. Across the 3 groups, the percentage meeting the recommendation of ≤ 2 hours of TV daily was 90%, 75%, and 59%, respectively, on school days and 72%, 51% and 43% on weekend days. Students whose parents always limit TV, compared to students whose parents sometimes and who never limit TV, spent significantly less time playing video games and on non-homework computer use (estimated 0.9 h/d vs. 1.4 and 2.0 h/d, respectively), had significantly lower total screen time (estimated 2.2 vs. 3.4 and 4.5 h/d), and reported significantly more moderate PA (3.4 vs. 3.2 days/week of at least 30 min/d) and vigorous PA (4.6 vs. 4.2 and 4.1 d/wk of at least 20 min/d). Results remained significant after adjustment for sex, age, race-ethnicity, and school. Findings suggest that among middle-school youth consistent parental limits on TV watching are associated with less time in front of a screen and more time being moderately and vigorously active.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the percentage of students meeting the current recommendation of no more than 2 hours/day of TV, including videos, in a large sample of youth in middle school 2. Discuss the relationship between parental limits on TV viewing and time spent in physical activity, watching TV and total screen time among middle-school youth

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.