Background: Excessive television (TV) viewing might play an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to examine the independent associations between TV viewing and CVD risk factors in adolescents.
Methods: A sample of 425 adolescents, aged 13- to 18.5-year-old, was included in this study. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein (apo) A-1, apo B-100, and lipoprotein(a) levels were determined. A composite CVD risk score was computed based on age-, sex-, sexual maturation- and race-standardized triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and glucose. TV viewing was self-reported.
Results: Two hundred and twenty-five adolescents (53%) who spent >3 hrs/day watching TV were considered as the "high TV viewing" group. Ninety-nine adolescents (23%) from the total sample were classified as overweight according to International age- and sex-specific BMI values. The high TV viewing group had significantly less favorable values of HDL-cholesterol, glucose, apo A1 and CVD score, independent of age, sex, sexual maturation, race and weight status. There was a significant interaction effect of TV viewing x weight status (P = 0.002) on WC, and the negative influence of TV viewing on WC persisted in the overweight group (P = 0.031) but was attenuated in non-overweight adolescents (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Excessive TV viewing seems to be related to an unfavorable CVD risk factors profile in adolescence. Reducing TV viewing in overweight adolescents might be beneficial to decrease abdominal body fat.