Objectives: To examine the combined influence of physical activity and screen time (television and video games) on the odds of being overweight and to evaluate the utility of current public policy recommendations.
Study design: Physical activity was assessed by a pedometer and screen time was assessed by survey in a sample of 709 children age 7 to 12 years. The percentage of subjects meeting current physical activity and screen time recommendations was calculated. Cross-tabulated physical activity-screen time groups were formed depending on whether or not the children were meeting current recommendations. Logistic regression was used to examine the influence of physical activity and screen time on the odds of being overweight.
Results: Children meeting physical activity and screen time recommendations were the least likely to be overweight. Approximately 10% of the boys and 20% of the girls meeting both recommendations were overweight, compared with 35% to 40% of those who did not meet either recommendation. Screen time and physical activity appeared to be equivalent risk factors for boys, even though physical activity in girls was more strongly associated with body mass index.
Conclusions: Children not meeting the physical activity or screen time recommendations were 3 to 4 times more likely to be overweight than those complying with both recommendations.