Associations of TV Viewing Duration, Meals and Snacks Eaten When Watching TV, and a TV in the Bedroom with Child Adiposity

Publication authors

Paul J. Collings, Brian Kelly, Jane West, John Wright



This study aimed to examine the associations of TV parameters with adiposity in early life.


Data were collected as part of the Born in Bradford (BiB) longitudinal birth cohort study. Child TV viewing duration was parent reported, and BMI, the sum of triceps and subscapular skinfolds, and waist circumference were measured at ~12, 18, 24, and 36 months of age in 1,338 children. Mixed effects models were used to quantify adjusted associations of TV viewing duration with adiposity markers, incorporating data from all time points. Linear regression was used to investigate differences in adiposity levels across frequencies of eating meals and snacks while watching TV at age ~24 months and between children who did and did not have a TV in their bedroom at age ~36 months.


Every 1 h/d of TV viewing was associated with a 0.075‐cm larger (95% CI: 0.0034‐0.15) waist circumference, independent of covariates including sleep duration, dietary factors, and physical activity level. There was no evidence for any other associations.


TV viewing duration is independently associated with abdominal adiposity in young children. Limiting TV viewing from an early age may be important for primary prevention of obesity.