Get access

Lack of association between television viewing, soft drinks, physical activity and body mass index in children

Authors


Correspondence
Joey C Eisenmann, Ph.D., Center for Physical Activity and Health, Department of Kinesiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI USA 48823. Tel: 517-432-5105 | Fax: 517-355-1689 | Email: jce@msu.edu

Abstract

Objective: To examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of physical activity, screen time and dietary habits on the body mass index (BMI) of children.

Methods: A cohort of 122 girls and 146 boys (age at entry 10 years) from three rural states in the western USA was studied over an 18-month period. Subjects were measured for height and weight. Habitual physical activity, screen time (television viewing, video games and computer use) and dietary variables were assessed by a questionnaire. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted to examine the associations between physical activity, screen time and diet with BMI at baseline and follow-up and change in BMI.

Results: At baseline, approximately 10% of boys and girls were obese and 17.8% of boys and 14.8% of girls were overweight. BMI showed a high degree of stability for boys and girls (r = 0.90), whereas physical activity, screen time and dietary habits showed moderate stability (r = 0.31–0.50) across the 18-month period. Cross-sectional and longitudinal correlations between physical activity, screen time, diet and BMI were low and non-significant (r < 0.15). The regression models explained between 8% and 22% of the variance in the change in BMI; however, none of the predictor variables were statistically significant.

Conclusion: Physical activity, screen time and dietary habits were not significantly related to the BMI in cross-sectional or longitudinal analyses. Further research is warranted to better understand the complex, multifactorial phenotype of the BMI in growing and maturing children.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary