Relationship between media viewing and obesity in school-aged children in Taipei, Taiwan

Hsiu Mei Huang, Li Yin Chien, Ting Chi Yeh, Pi Hsia Lee, Pi Chen Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Increased media viewing such as watching television and videos and playing on/using computers has been associated with childhood obesity. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend limiting children's total media time to no more than 2 hours per day. Information about media usage and school-aged obesity in Taiwan is lacking. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether media viewing after school is associated with the total and central obesity in school-aged children in Taipei, Taiwan's capital and largest city. Methods: A case-control study was designed, and a control approach was used to recruit participants. Two hundred seventyfive obese and 275 normal-weight children currently in the fourth grade were enrolled from 29 elementary schools in Taipei City. Media viewing after school was measured using a 3-day selfreported physical activity log and the daily sedentary activity component of the National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan. The latter was completed by the participants' parents. Results: Participants with total obesity had significantly more television watching time (60.24 minutes vs. 43.50 minutes, p G .05) and total media watching time (73.61 minutes vs. 52.67 minutes, p G .001) than normal-weight participants. Similar results were found for participantswith central obesity. Total television and total media watching durations greater than 2 hours a day correlated significantly with total and central obesity. Time spent using computers did not differ significantly between obese and normalweight control participants on weekdays. Conclusions/ Implications for Practice: Childhood obesity may be multifactorial in origin. Excessive sedentary activity such as watching television may have a variety of consequences beyond the putative effect on body habitus. School nurses should promote health programs targeted to prevent excessiveweight and obesity in children ,recommend reducing media viewing, and encourage patient participation in extracurricular outdoor activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalThe journal of nursing research : JNR
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Central obesity
  • Media viewing
  • School-aged children
  • Total obesity
  • Watching television


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