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Article

Screen Time Associated to Unhealthy Diets in Low-Income Children

1The Department of Nutritional Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA

2Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, USA

3Public Health Foundation Enterprises (PHFE) Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, Irwindale, USA


Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2016, Vol. 4 No. 2, 94-99
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-4-2-5
Copyright © 2016 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Stacey C. Lee, Maria Koleilat, Ladia M. Hernandez, Shannon E. Whaley, Jaimie N. Davis. Screen Time Associated to Unhealthy Diets in Low-Income Children. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2016; 4(2):94-99. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-4-2-5.

Correspondence to: Jaimie  N. Davis, The Department of Nutritional Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA. Email: jaimie.davis@austin.utexas.edu

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between screen time (TV viewing and video game playing), dietary intake and overweight/obesity prevalence in low-income, primarily Hispanic young children. Data were obtained via a 2011 phone survey from caregivers of children enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in Los Angeles, USA. WIC staff measured the child’s height and weight in the clinics. The final sample included 2278 low-income children (2-4 y) in the WIC program in Los Angeles County (LAC). Screen time was [significant (p≤0.01)] inversely related to vegetable intake and positively related to flavored milk, 100% juice, sugar sweetened beverages (SSB), and sweets. The odds of participants eating 1-4+ servings of fast food per week was 9-fold times higher in the children who reported 3+ hrs/day of screen time compared to those who reported <1 hr/day (OR=9.83, 95% CI 4.74 to 20.37; p<0.001). Screen time was not associated to obesity and/or overweight prevalence. These findings suggest screen time is associated to unhealthy dietary patterns, particularly increased sugar consumption, in low-income young children and should be taken into consideration for future interventions.

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