Television viewing and long-term weight maintenance: results from the National Weight Control Registry

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Oct;14(10):1816-24. doi: 10.1038/oby.2006.209.


Objective: To examine the role of television (TV) viewing in long-term maintenance of weight loss.

Research methods and procedures: All subjects (N = 1422) were enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a national sample of adults who have maintained a minimum weight loss of 13.6 kg for at least 1 year. Participants self-reported the average number of hours of weekly TV viewing at entry into the NWCR and at a 1-year follow-up. Cross-sectional and prospective analyses were performed to determine the frequency of TV viewing and the extent to which TV viewing was independently associated with weight regain over the 1-year of follow-up.

Results: A relatively high proportion (62.3%) of participants reported watching 10 or fewer hours of TV per week on entry in the NWCR. More than one third of the sample (36.1%) reported watching <5 h/wk, whereas only 12.4% watched > or =21 h/wk, which contrasts markedly from the national average of 28 hours of TV viewing per week reported by American adults. Both baseline TV viewing (p < or = 0.02) and increases in TV viewing (p < or = 0.001) over the follow-up were significant predictors of 1-year weight regain, independent of physical activity and dietary behaviors.

Discussion: Individuals who are successful at maintaining weight loss over the long term are likely to spend a relatively minimal amount of time watching TV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eating / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Gain / physiology
  • Weight Loss / physiology*