The Relationship between TV Viewing and Food Intake and BMI in Preschool Children
Background: Considerable attention is currently being paid to childhood nutrition. Mass media, particularly television (TV), is believed to largely contribute to eating habits and Body mass index (BMI). This study was carried out to identify the relation between tendency towards TV viewing and its influence on children with food intake and BMI in pre-school kids. Original Research Article Kalantari et al.; BJMMR, 14(10): 1-9, 2016; Article no.BJMMR.24970 2
Methodology: The survey was conducted using a cross-sectional design, in which 114 children aged 2-6 yrs from 11 selected nursery schools were included. Regarding data collection related to TV viewing rate and influence rate of TV viewing from parents' viewpoint, a valid and reliable questionnaire was used. To collect data about children's diets intake, a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was applied. Face-to-face meetings and interviews with the parents were held. Height and weights of children were measured using a measuring tape and a digital weight scale. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficient and analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical tests by SPSS software.
Results: It turned out that consumption rate of some food groups including meats & alternatives (p=0.008), sugars (p=0.013) and snacks & desserts (p=0.011) were higher in children who spend more time watching TV. In addition, Intake of cereals and breads appeared to be higher in children with strong desire for TV food ads (p=0.019). It was also revealed that influence rate of TV viewing and fats intake were positively correlated (p=0.017). No significant relationship was revealed between TV viewing rate and BMI in children Conclusion: It can be concluded that tendency of preschool children to TV is positively related with some food groups intake and consumption of low nutritional-value foods.