Research Research and Professional Brief| Volume 106, ISSUE 4, P598-600, April 2006

Does Eating during Television Viewing Affect Preschool Children’s Intake?


      The objective of this study was to examine the effects of television (TV) viewing on children’s lunch and snack intake in one condition when the children watched a 22-minute cartoon video on TV (TV group), and in another without the TV (no TV group). Participants included 24 children and their parents, recruited from a university child-care center. Parents reported children’s TV viewing habits at home. Overall, children ate significantly less snack and lunch in the TV condition compared with the no TV condition. However, children who reportedly watched more daily hours of TV and who had a higher frequency of meals eaten in front of the TV at home ate more lunch in the TV condition. TV viewing may either increase or reduce children’s intake, depending on prior experience with eating during TV viewing.
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      L. A. Francis is an assistant professor of Biobehavioral Health and L. L. Birch is a distinguished professor of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park.