Advertisement

NOTICE: We are experiencing technical issues with Academy members trying to log into the JAND site using Academy member login credentials. We are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you are an Academy member, you can access the JAND site by registering for an Elsevier account and claiming access using the links at the top of the JAND site. Email us at [email protected] for assistance. Thanks for your patience!

Watching Television while Eating: Associations with Dietary Intake and Weight Status among a Diverse Sample of Young Children

Published:April 25, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2019.02.013

      Abstract

      Background

      Television (TV) watching at family meals has been associated with poorer dietary quality and weight outcomes in children. Most research has been limited to family meals, overlooking the influence of TV at any meal.

      Objective

      This study assesses how often children are eating meals at home while watching TV, the association between child dietary intake while watching TV during meals eaten at home and whether the association depends on meal type (eg, breakfast) or child race/ethnicity, and whether the number of meals consumed while watching TV at home is associated with overall child dietary quality or weight status.

      Design

      The Family Matters study utilized a cross-sectional design and was conducted between 2015 and 2016.

      Participants/setting

      Three 24-hour dietary recalls were conducted on children aged 5 to 7 years (n=150; 25 each from non-Hispanic white, African American, Latino, Native American, Somali, and Hmong households).

      Main outcome measures

      Main outcomes of this study were dietary intake at meals, overall dietary quality, and child weight status.

      Statistical analysis performed

      Conditional fixed effects estimators were used to address correlated error terms to model within-person variation between TV and dietary intake and race/ethnicity differences in child dietary outcomes.

      Results

      TV was watched during 30% of meals eaten at home, which differed significantly by race/ethnicity (P<0.001). Although effect sizes were small, TV watching at meals was associated with unhealthier intake of some foods groups (eg, increased sugar-sweetened beverages and chips/crackers and decreased fruits), dependent on the meal occasion (eg, snacks). However, TV watching during meals at home was not significantly associated with dietary intake for other food groups. These associations did not depend on race/ethnicity. An association between number of meals consumed while watching TV with overall dietary quality or weight status was not found.

      Conclusions

      Although more research is needed, results suggest TV watching while eating meals at home is relatively common, depends on race/ethnicity, and that TV watching at some meal occasions is associated with child intake of certain food groups, with a majority being unhealthy.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Crespo C.J.
        • Smith E.
        • Troiano R.P.
        • Bartlett S.J.
        • Macera C.A.
        • Andersen R.E.
        Television watching, energy intake and obesity in US children.
        JAMA Pediatr. 2001; 155: 360-365
        • Proctor M.H.
        • Moore L.L.
        • Gao D.
        • et al.
        Television viewing and change in body fat from preschool to early adolescence: The Framingham Children’s Study.
        Int J Obes. 2003; 27: 827-833
        • Wiecha J.L.
        • Peterson K.E.
        • Ludwig D.S.
        • Kim J.
        • Sobol A.
        • Gortmaker S.L.
        When children eat what they watch.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006; 160: 436
        • Temple J.L.
        • Giacomelli A.M.
        • Kent K.M.
        • Roemmich J.N.
        • Epstein L.H.
        Television watching increases motivated responding for food and energy intake in children.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85: 355-361
        • Taveras E.M.
        • Sandora T.J.
        • Shih M.C.
        • Ross-Degnan D.
        • Goldmann D.A.
        • Gillman M.W.
        The association of television and video viewing with fast food intake by preschool-age children.
        Obesity. 2006; 14: 2034-2041
        • Barr-Andeson D.J.
        • Larson N.I.
        • Nelson M.C.
        • Neumark-Sztainer D.
        • Story M.
        Does television viewing predict dietary intake five years later in high school students and young adults?.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2009; 6: 1-8
        • Andaya A.A.
        • Arredondo E.M.
        • Alcaraz J.E.
        • Lindsay S.P.
        • Elder J.P.
        The association between family meals, TV viewing during meals, and fruit, vegetables, soda, and chips intake among Latino children.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2011; 43: 308-315
        • Coon K.A.
        • Goldberg J.
        • Rogers B.L.
        • Tucker K.L.
        Relationships between use of television during meals and children’s food consumption patterns.
        Pediatrics. 2001; 107: 1-11
        • Feldman S.
        • Eisenberg M.E.
        • Neumark-Sztainer D.
        • Story M.
        Associations between watching TV during family meals and dietary intake among adolescents.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2007; 39: 257-263
        • Sweetman C.
        • McGowan L.
        • Croker H.
        • Cooke L.
        Characteristics of family mealtimes affecting children’s vegetable consumption and liking.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2011; 111: 269-273
        • Trofholz A.C.
        • Tate A.D.
        • Miner M.H.
        • Berge J.M.
        Associations between TV viewing at family meals and the emotional atmosphere of the meal, meal healthfulness, child dietary intake, and child weight status.
        Appetite. 2017; 108: 361-366
        • Roos E.
        • Pajunen T.
        • Ray C.
        • et al.
        Does eating family meals and having the television on during dinner correlate with overweight? A sub-study of the PRO GREENS project, looking at children from nine European countries.
        Public Health Nutr. 2014; 17: 2528-2536
        • Fulkerson J.
        • Loth K.
        • Bruening M.
        • Berge J.
        • Eisenberg M.E.
        • Neumark-Sztainer D.
        Time 2 tlk 2nite: Use of electronic media by adolescents during family meals and associations with demographic characteristics, family characteristics, and foods served.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014; 114: 1053-1058
        • FitzPatrick E.
        • Edmunds L.S.
        • Dennison B.
        Positive effects of family dinner are undone by television viewing.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2007; 107: 666-671
        • Williams A.S.
        • Ge B.
        • Petroski G.
        • Kruse R.L.
        • McElroy J.A.
        • Koopman R.J.
        Socioeconomic status and other factors associated with childhood obesity.
        J Am Board Fam Med. 2018; 31: 514-521
        • Matheson D.M.
        • Killen J.D.
        • Wang Y.
        • Varady A.
        • Robinson T.N.
        Children’s food consumption during television viewing.
        Am Soc Clin Nutr. 2004; 79: 1088-1094
        • Trofholz A.C.
        • Tate A.
        • Fulkerson J.A.
        • Hearst M.O.
        • Neumark-Sztainer D.R.
        • Berge J.M.
        Description of the home food environment in black, white, Hmong, Latino, Native American, and Somali homes with 5-7-year-old children.
        Public Health Nutr. 2018;November; 27: 1-12
        • Berge J.M.
        • Trofholz A.C.
        • Tate A.D.
        • et al.
        Examining unanswered questions about the home environment and childhood obesity disparities using an incremental, mixed-methods longitudinal study design: Protocol for the Family Matters study.
        Contemp Clin Trials. 2017; 62: 61-76
      1. NDSR software version 2015. University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center, Minneapolis, MN2015
        • Livingstone M.B.E.
        • Robson P.J.
        • Wallace J.M.W.
        Issues in dietary intake assessment of children and adolescents.
        Br J Nutr. 2004; 92: S213
        • Livingstone M.B.
        • Robson P.
        Measurement of dietary intake in children.
        Nut Proc Soc. 2000; 59: 279-293
        • Healthy Eating Index (HEI)
        • Guenther P.M.
        • Casavale K.O.
        • Reedy J.
        • et al.
        Update of the Healthy Eating Index: HEI-2010.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013; 113: 569-580
      2. Child & teen BMI calculator.
      3. Stata Statistical Software release 15. StataCorp LLC, College Station, TX2015
        • Gardiner J.
        • Luo Z.
        • Roman L.A.
        Fixed effects, random effects and GEE: What are the differences?.
        Stat Med. 2009; 28: 221-239
        • Eisenberg M.E.
        • Neumark-Sztainer D.
        • Feldman S.
        Does TV viewing during family meals make a difference in adolescent substance use?.
        Prev Med (Baltim). 2009; 48: 585-587
        • Trofholz A.C.
        • Schulte A.
        • Berge J.M.
        How do parents describe picky eating and its impact on family meals. A qualitative study.
        Appetite. 2017; 110: 36-43
        • Harrison K.
        • Marske A.L.
        Nutritional content of foods advertised during the television programs children watch most.
        Am J Public Health. 2005; 95: 1568-1574
        • Story M.
        • Faulkner P.
        The prime time diet: A content analysis of eating behavior and food messages in television program content and commercials.
        Am J Public Health. 1990; 80: 738-740

      Biography

      A. C. Trofholz is a research associate, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

      Biography

      A. Tate is a graduate research assistant, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

      Biography

      D. Neumark-Sztainer is a professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

      Biography

      K. Loth is an assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

      Biography

      J. M. Berge is a certified family life educator, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and an associate professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.