Screen time above recommendations in children and adolescents: analysis of the associated nutritional, behavioral and parental factors
Keywords:child, teenager, obesity, sedentary lifestyle
Introduction: Sedentary routines characterised by multimedia games favour an increase in the prevalence of obesity in schoolchildren and their parents. Thus, identifying the factors associated with screen time during childhood and adolescence is essential for the development of public health strategies.
Objective: To analyse whether excessive time in front of screens in children and adolescents is associated with nutritional, behavioural and parental factors.
Methods: Cross-sectional study on 795 schoolchildren, of which 354 were male, aged between 7 and 17 years, and their parents (father or mother) from a municipality in southern Brazil. The screen time spent by the students was self-reported, obtained in hours, considering excessive to be ≥ 2 hours a day. The parents’ nutritional profile was assessed in terms of body mass index (BMI). For the data analysis, the prevalence ratio (PR) was used and analysed using the Poisson regression, with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: We found a high frequency of overweight/obese students (30.9%), with low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (53.7%), who spend ≥ 2 hours daily on the TV, computer or video games (57.1%). Screen time was associated with the prevalence of being overweight (PR = 1.06; CI = 1.00-1.13) and obesity (PR = 1.10; CI =: 1.03-1.18) among fathers, only among adolescents.
Conclusion: Excessive screen time among adolescents was associated with the father’s nutritional status. It is suggested that strategies to reduce screen time should be implemented from childhood, involving the entire family.
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