Author(s): Fitzpatrick C, Pagani LS, Barnett TA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The relationship between early childhood television viewing and physical fitness in school age children has not been extensively studied using objective outcome measures. METHODS: Using a sample of 1314 children from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, we examine the association between parental reports of weekly hours of television viewing, assessed at 29 and 53 months of age, and direct measures of second grade muscular fitness using performances on the standing long jump test (SLJ) and fourth grade waist circumference. RESULTS: Controlling for many potentially confounding child and family variables, each hour per week of television watched at 29 months corresponded to a .361 cm decrease in SLJ, 95\% CI between -.576 and -.145. A one hour increase in average weekly television exposure from 29 to 53 months was associated with a further .285 cm reduction in SLJ test performance, 95\% CI between -.436 and -.134 cm and corresponded to a .047 cm increase in waistline circumference, 95\% CI between .001 and .094 cm. INTERPRETATION: Watching television excessively in early childhood, may eventually compromise muscular fitness and waist circumference in children as they approach pubertal age.
This article was published in Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy