The relationship between life-style and cardio-metabolic risk indicators in children: the importance of screen time

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Abstract Aims: 

To examine differences between children with obesity and normal weight children (aged 7–13 years) in terms of physical activity, screen time, food intake and blood parameters indicative of cardio-metabolic risk. Further, to explore the relationship between physical activity, screen time and food intake with cardio-metabolic parameters. Methods: 

Forty-three children with obesity were compared with 43 normal weight peers. Physical activity was monitored by accelerometers and screen time and food intake by diaries. Blood parameters indicative of cardio-metabolic risk were analysed. Results: 

The group of children with obesity had significantly less vigorous activity (p = 0.013), more daily screen time (p = 0.004) and consumed more fat (p = 0.04) than the group of normal weight children. The former group also demonstrated higher values of triglycerides (p = 0.001), HbA1c (p = 0.009), C-peptide (p = 0.001), had a higher HOMA-R score (p = 0.001), and lower levels of HDL (p = 0.001). After controlling for weight category, regression analyses revealed that screen time was significantly and positively related to the HOMA-R score and C-peptide levels independent of physical activity and intake of fat and sugar. Conclusions: 

The results indicate that screen time is an important behavioural factor related to obesity and cardio-metabolic risk indicators in children.

Keywords: BMI; Cardio-metabolic risk; Obesity; Physical activity; Screen time

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: .Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway 2: .Section of Paediatrics, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway 3: .Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway 4: .Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway 5: .The Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology, Division of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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