Background: Having a TV in the bedroom is associated with adiposity in children. It is not known how lifestyle behaviours (television viewing time, diet patterns, physical activity, and sleep duration) mediate this association. The objective of this study was to examine the mediating role of these lifestyle behaviours in the association between TV in the bedroom and percent body fat (% BF).
Methods: Cross-sectional data from 1 201 children (57.3% female; mean age = 9.8 years) from Ottawa, Canada and Baton Rouge, USA were examined. % BF was directly measured. Accelerometers were used to determine physical activity and sleep duration (24-h, 7-day protocol). Questionnaires were used to assess TV viewing time and healthy/unhealthy diet patterns (derived using factor analysis from food frequency questionnaire data).
Results: Canadian boys and girls with a TV in their bedroom had a higher % BF, watched more TV and had unhealthier diets. American boys and girls with a TV in their bedroom watched more TV, while boys had a higher % BF and a more unhealthy diet, and girls had less MVPA. In Canadian girls, TV viewing time mediated the association between having a TV in the bedroom and adiposity, independent of diet patterns, MVPA, and sleep duration. Other lifestyle mediators were not significant in Canadian boys or in US children.
Conclusion: TV viewing is a mediating lifestyle behaviour in the association between TV in the bedroom and adiposity in Canadian girls. Future research is needed to identify lifestyle behaviours as intermediate mediators.