SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Diet;
  • obesity;
  • pre-school;
  • television

Summary

The aim of this paper was to systematically review the evidence for the association between television viewing and diet in children ages 2–6. Data sources included PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, ERIC, SportDISCUS, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science and hand searches of reference lists of relevant articles. Twelve studies were reviewed in which the relationship between television viewing and diet was assessed in children between the ages of 2 and 6. All but one study reported significant relationship between television viewing time and adverse dietary outcomes. Parent-reported television viewing time was used to assay child television viewing in all included studies. Food frequency survey was the most frequent method of dietary assessment, and parent served as proxies for children in all studies. Lower fruit and/or vegetable intake was the most frequently reported dietary outcome, followed by increased energy intake with increased television viewing. The majority of studies reported adverse dietary outcomes with as little as 1 h of daily television exposure. While these results are consistent with recommendations from child health advocates to limit television viewing in young children, they also suggest that further efforts to limit television viewing in young children may be needed to aid in obesity prevention.