A community-based randomized trial concluded limiting television-viewing duration may be an effective strategy to prevent excess weight gain in adolescent kids.
The findings were based on a one-year community-based randomised trial that included 153 adults and 72 adolescents from the same households.
The researchers from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health Obesity Prevention Center measured Television viewing hours, diet, and physical activity levels before and after the intervention and found a clear association between reduction in TV hours and decreased weight gain over one year in teenage kids.
"We tried to intervene on behaviors that are related to energy balance, such as television viewing, sugar-sweetened beverage intake, physical activity, and consumption of packaged convenience foods," Simone A. French, PhD, principal investigator of this study and the Director of the University of Minnesota's Obesity Prevention Center, said.
"Although the individual contribution of each of these behaviors to excess weight gain and obesity may be small, it is important to examine their possible role individually and together in promoting excess weight gain.
"Associations between these behaviors and risk for excess weight gain may differ among adults and adolescents because of their different physical and social developmental stages," Dr. French said.
"This study is an important piece of evidence that reducing TV hours is a powerful weight gain prevention strategy parents can use to help prevent excess weight gain among their children by changing the home environment and household television viewing norms," Dr. French added.
This study has been published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.