Linking obesity and activity level with children's television and video game use

J Adolesc. 2004 Feb;27(1):71-85. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2003.10.003.


This study examined the links between childhood obesity, activity participation and television and video game use in a nationally representative sample of children (N = 2831) ages 1-12 using age-normed body mass index (BMI) ratings. Results indicated that while television use was not related to children's weight status, video game use was. Children with higher weight status played moderate amounts of electronic games, while children with lower weight status played either very little or a lot of electronic games. Interaction analyses revealed that this curvilinear relationship applied to children under age 8 and that girls, but not boys, with higher weight status played more video games. Children ages 9-12 with lower weight status used the computer (non-game) for moderate amounts of time, while those with higher weight status used the computer either very little or a lot. This was also true for the relationship between print use and weight status for children of all ages. Results also indicated that children with higher weight status spent more time in sedentary activities than those with lower weight status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Video Games / adverse effects*
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data