Decrease in Television Viewing Predicts Lower Body Mass Index at 1-Year Follow-Up in Adolescents, but Not Adults

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Objective: To examine associations between television viewing, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, eating out, physical activity, and body weight change over 1 year. Design: Secondary data analysis from randomized intervention trial. Setting: Households in the community. Participants: Adults (n = 153) and adolescents (n = 72) from the same households. Intervention: Households were randomized to a home-based obesity prevention intervention or to a no-intervention control group for a 1-year period. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported television viewing (TV) hours, diet, and physical activity. Body mass index (BMI) computed from measured weight and height (primary outcome measure). Analysis: Mixed-model regression. Results: Among adolescents, a significant prospective association was observed between decreases in television viewing hours and lower BMI z score at 1-year follow-up (decreased TV hours: BMI z score mean = 0.65; no change or increase TV hours: BMI z score = 0.92; P < .02). No significant prospective associations were observed among adults. Conclusions and Implications: Reducing television viewing may be an effective strategy to prevent excess weight gain among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant # 1U54CA116849 and # R21CA137240 from the National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute .


  • Physical activity
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Television
  • Weight gain


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