The relationship between life-style and cardio-metabolic risk indicators in children: the importance of screen time

Acta Paediatr. 2011 Feb;100(2):253-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.02098.x. Epub 2010 Dec 15.


Aims: To examine differences between children with obesity and normal weight children (aged 7-13 years) in terms of physical activity, screen time, food intake and blood parameters indicative of cardio-metabolic risk. Further, to explore the relationship between physical activity, screen time and food intake with cardio-metabolic parameters.

Methods: Forty-three children with obesity were compared with 43 normal weight peers. Physical activity was monitored by accelerometers and screen time and food intake by diaries. Blood parameters indicative of cardio-metabolic risk were analysed.

Results: The group of children with obesity had significantly less vigorous activity (p = 0.013), more daily screen time (p = 0.004) and consumed more fat (p = 0.04) than the group of normal weight children. The former group also demonstrated higher values of triglycerides (p = 0.001), HbA1c (p = 0.009), C-peptide (p = 0.001), had a higher HOMA-R score (p = 0.001), and lower levels of HDL (p = 0.001). After controlling for weight category, regression analyses revealed that screen time was significantly and positively related to the HOMA-R score and C-peptide levels independent of physical activity and intake of fat and sugar.

Conclusions: The results indicate that screen time is an important behavioural factor related to obesity and cardio-metabolic risk indicators in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Microcomputers*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Television*
  • Time Factors
  • Video Games*