Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Restricting Kids' Video Time Reduces Obesity, Randomized Trial Shows

05.03.2008
Entrenched sedentary behavior such as watching television and playing computer video games has been the bane for years of parents of overweight children and physicians trying to help those children lose pounds.

There has been little scientifically based research on the effect of limiting those activities, however.

University at Buffalo researchers now have shown in a randomized trial that by using a device that automatically restricted video-viewing time, parents reduced their children's video time by an average of 17.5 hours a week and lowered their body-mass index (BMI) significantly by the end of the 2-year study.

In contrast, children in the control group, whose video time was monitored, but not restricted, reduced their viewing time by only 5 hours per week.

Results of the study appear in the current issue (March 2008) of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

"Our controlled experiment provided a test of whether reducing access to television and computer time led to a reduction in BMI," said Leonard Epstein, UB Distinguished Professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Health Behavior and Social and Preventive Medicine and first author on the study.

"Results showed that watching television and playing computer games can lead to obesity by reducing the amount of time that children are physically active, or by increasing the amount of food they consume as they as engaged in these sedentary behaviors."

The study involved 70 boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 7 whose BMI -- the ratio of weight to height -- was at or above the 75 percentile for age and sex. Eighty percent of the children were above the 85th percentile and nearly half were above the 95th percentile.

The children were assigned randomly to a control group or an intervention group. Each family received a device called TV Allowance for all video outlets in the home. All participants regularly watched television or played computer video games for at least 14 hours per week, as determined during a 3-week pre-study period.

Each family member had a private individual code to activate the electronic devices. Devices in "intervention" homes, but not "control" homes, had a set weekly time limit, which was reduced by 10 percent per week until viewing time was reduced by 50 percent. Children had to decide how to "spend" their allotted viewing hours.

Body mass index, caloric intake and physical activity were monitored every six months. Data were collected on socioeconomic status and characteristics of the neighborhood, including distance to parks, neighborhood activities and perceived neighborhood safety.

Changes in BMI between groups were statistically significant at 6 months and 12 months, but became more modest over time, results showed. The intervention group showed a steady decline in BMI over the two years, while the control group showed an increase followed by a steady decline.

"Although the changes overall were modest," commented Epstein, "a small effect of using this simple and inexpensive intervention [the device costs approximately $100], magnified across the population, may produce important reductions in obesity and obesity-related health problems."

Also contributing to the study from UB were James N. Roemmich, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and exercise and nutrition sciences; Jodie L. Robinson, MBA, senior counselor in the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory; Rocco A. Paluch, statistician in the UB Department of Pediatrics; Dana D. Winiewicz, senior research support specialist in pediatrics; and Janene H. Fuerch, student assistant. Thomas N. Robinson, M.D., M.P.H., from Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., also contributed to the study.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases to Epstein and by the UB Behavioral Medicine Laboratory in the UB School of Medicine.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Lois Baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.buffalo.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New method uses just a drop of blood to monitor lung cancer treatment
19.10.2018 | Osaka University

nachricht Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
12.10.2018 | Purdue University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles

19.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Thin films from Braunschweig on the way to Mercury

19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

App-App-Hooray! - Innovative Kits for AR Applications

19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>