TV viewing and obesity among Norwegian children: the importance of parental education

Acta Paediatr. 2013 Feb;102(2):199-205. doi: 10.1111/apa.12066. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Aim: To analyse the effect of lifestyle factors on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 6-15-year-old Norwegian children.

Methods: Questionnaire data on lifestyle factors (sedentary behaviour, activity and eating habits) and prevalence numbers of overweight and obesity based on measured height and weight were analysed using multinomial logistic regression in a sample of 2281 children included in the Bergen Growth Study.

Results: More screen time increased the risk of overweight (odds ratio (OR): 1.25; p = 0.02) and obesity (OR: 1.12; p = 0.02) as did the presence of a TV in the child's bedroom (OR: 1.26 (overweight), OR: 1.81 (obese); p = 0.04). The obese children reported less sugar intake than the not overweight children (OR: 0.58; p = 0.01). Higher parental education was associated with less screen time (p = 0.02), lower frequency of TV in the child's bedroom (p = 0.001), more sports (p = 0.005), as well as eating more fruit and vegetables, less sweets, soft drinks and fast food, and more regular meals (for all, p < 0.03).

Conclusion: Indicators of sedentary lifestyle, such as screen time and the presence of a TV in the child's bedroom, were associated with overweight and obesity in Norwegian schoolchildren. Higher parental education was generally associated with less obesogenic lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Educational Status
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / etiology
  • Parents / education*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television*