An investigation into the relationship between screen time, consumption of advertised foods, and physical activity among Texas 4th grade elementary school children
Background. The high prevalence of obesity among children has spurred creation of a list of possible causative factors, including the advertising of foods of minimal nutritional value, a decrease in physical activity, and increased media use. Few studies show prevalence rates of these factors among large cohorts of children. Methods. Using data from the 2004-2005 School Physical Activity and Nutrition project (SPAN), a secondary analysis of 7907 4th-grade children (mean age 9.74 years) was conducted. In addition, a comic-book–based intervention that addressed advertised food consumption, physical activity, and media use was developed and evaluated using a pre-post test design among 4th-grade children in an urban school district. Results. Among a cohort of 4th-grade children across the state of Texas, children who had more than 2 hours of video game or computer time the previous day were more than twice as likely to drink soda and eat candy or pastries. In addition, children who watched more than 2 hours of TV the previous day were more than three times as likely to consume chips, punch, soda, candy, frozen desserts, or pastries (AOR 3.41, 95% CI: 1.58, 7.37). A comic-book based intervention held great promise and acceptance among 4th-grade children. Outcome evaluation showed that while results moved in a positive direction, they were not statistically significant. Conclusion. Statistically significant associations were found between screen time and eating various types of advertised food. The comic book intervention was widely accepted by the children exposed to it, and pre-post surveys indicated they moved constructs in a positive direction. Further research is needed to look at more specific ways in which children are exposed to TV, and the relationship of the TV viewing time with their consumption of advertised foods. In addition, researchers should look at comic book interventions more closely and attempt to utilize them in more in studies with a longer follow-up time.
Public health|Health education
Agurcia-Parker, Carolyn A, "An investigation into the relationship between screen time, consumption of advertised foods, and physical activity among Texas 4th grade elementary school children" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3350219.