Contemporary screen time modalities among children 9-10 years old and binge-eating disorder at one-year follow-up: A prospective cohort study

Int J Eat Disord. 2021 Mar 1. doi: 10.1002/eat.23489. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To determine the prospective associations between contemporary screen time modalities in a nationally representative cohort of 9-10-year-old children and binge-eating disorder at one-year follow-up.

Method: We analyzed prospective cohort data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 11,025). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between baseline child-reported screen time (exposure) and parent-reported binge-eating disorder based on the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS-5, outcome) at one-year follow-up, adjusting for race/ethnicity, sex, household income, parent education, BMI percentile, site, and baseline binge-eating disorder.

Results: Each additional hour of total screen time per day was prospectively associated with 1.11 higher odds of binge-eating disorder at 1-year follow-up (95% CI 1.05-1.18) after adjusting for covariates. In particular, each additional hour of social networking (aOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.18-2.22), texting (aOR 1.40, 95% CI 1.08-1.82), and watching/streaming television shows/movies (aOR 1.39, 95% CI 1.14-1.69) was significantly associated with binge-eating disorder.

Discussion: Clinicians should assess screen time usage and binge eating in children and adolescents and advise parents about the potential risks associated with excessive screen time.

Keywords: adolescents; binge eating; binge-eating disorder; disordered eating; eating disorder; pediatrics; screen time; smart phone; social media; television.