Children Do Not Meet Physical Activity, Screen Time Recommendations
Children with obesity often do not meet the recommendations for physical activity or engagement in screen time per week, according to the results of a recent study presented at ObesityWeek 2020.
As pediatric obesity has been linked to a decreased amount of physical activity as well as excessive screen time, the researchers examined the relationships between weight status, physical activity, and screen time in children with obesity.
Participants of the study included caregivers of children attending a pediatric obesity clinic. The 970 caregivers reported on children aged from 1 to 19 years. Questionnaires were completed by the caregivers at the initial visit, which assessed youth engagement in both physical activity per week and number of hours of screen time per day. Body mass index (BMI) z-scores were also calculated for the children.
The results indicated that the youth engaged in physical activity for 30 minutes or more for an average of 3.37 days per week, as well as spent 3.38 hours per day on screen time activities. The 2 were significantly associated, as the more youth engaged in physical activity, the less they engaged in screen time activities.
Another significant association was found between physical activity and BMI z-score. Weight status of youth increased with the number of days youth were physically active. However, there were no significant associations between BMI z-score and screen time.
“This cross-sectional study revealed that children attending a pediatric obesity clinic do not meet recommendations for engagement in physical activity and screen time,” the researchers concluded. “Only physical activity was associated with weight status but was in a different direction than expected. There is a need for additional research focused specifically on physical activity and screen time recommendations and treatments that address these lifestyle behaviors in youth with obesity.”
Sandridge S, Knudsen EM, Foster BS, Keeton A, McCormick K, Lim C. Associations between screen time and physical activity engagement and weight in pediatric obesity. Paper presented at: ObesityWeek 2020; November 2-6, 2020; Virtual. https://tos.planion.com/Web.User/AbstractDet?ACCOUNT=TOS&ABSID=24431&CONF=OW2020&ssoOverride=OFF&CKEY=