Television, adiposity, and cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents

Am J Prev Med. 2013 Jan;44(1):40-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.049.


Background: It is largely unknown how TV use relates to depot-specific adiposity or cardiometabolic risk in children.

Purpose: To examine relationships between having a TV in the bedroom and TV viewing time with total fat mass, abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity, and cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 369 children and adolescents aged 5-18 years was conducted (2010-2011; analysis 2011-2012). Waist circumference; resting blood pressure; fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C] and glucose; fat mass by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; and abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity by MRI were assessed. Cardiometabolic risk was defined as three or more risk factors including adverse levels of waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL-C, and glucose. Logistic regression analysis was used to compute ORs of high fat mass; subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue mass (top age-adjusted quartile); and cardiometabolic risk, based on self-reported TV present in the bedroom and TV viewing time, controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity level, and unhealthy diet.

Results: In multivariable models, presence of a TV in the bedroom and TV viewing time were associated with (p<0.05) higher odds of high waist circumference (OR=1.9-2.1); fat mass (OR=2.0-2.5); and subcutaneous adiposity (OR=2.1-2.9), whereas viewing TV ≥5 hours/day was associated with high visceral adiposity (OR=2.0). Having a TV in the bedroom was associated with elevated cardiometabolic risk (OR=2.9) and high triglycerides (OR=2.0).

Conclusions: Having a bedroom TV and TV viewing time were related to high waist circumference, fat mass, and abdominal subcutaneous adiposity. TV viewing time was related to visceral adiposity, and bedroom TV was related to cardiometabolic risk in children, controlling for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and an unhealthy diet.

Registration: This study is registered at Clinicaltrials.govNCT01595100.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / physiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / etiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / physiology*
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • Waist Circumference / physiology*

Associated data