Having a TV in the bedroom leads to excess weight gain

July 1, 2014

A study in more than 6500 youngsters aged 10 to 14 years from across the United States found that having a bedroom television confers an additional risk for obesity.

 

A study in more than 6500 youngsters aged 10 to 14 years from across the United States found that having a bedroom television confers an additional risk for obesity. The baseline telephone survey, which included parental reports, explored current weight status, TV/movie viewing and video-game playing, parental style, and sociodemographic factors, while follow-up surveys 2 and 4 years later assessed changes in age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI).

At baseline, 59.1% of participants had bedroom TVs. Boys were 8% more likely to have a bedroom TV than girls, and 16% more blacks and Hispanics had them than whites and other races.

At the 2-year follow-up, those having a bedroom TV at baseline had a mean 1.16 larger BMI than those without a bedroom TV. At year 4, the comparable figure was even larger-1.31. Even after adjusting for time spent watching TV and movies, playing video games, and parenting style, having a bedroom TV was associated with an excess BMI of 0.57 at year 2 and 0.75 at year 4, and a BMI gain of 0.24 from years 2 to 4. Each hour per day of TV viewing at baseline also predicted a mean excess BMI gain of 0.14 (Gilbert-Diamond D, et al. JAMA Pediatrics. 2014:168[5]:427-434).

MS FREEDMAN is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. DR BURKE, section editor for Journal Club, is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. He is a contributing editor for Contemporary Pediatrics. The editors have nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.