To study the effect of excessive TV viewing on dietary habits and sleep patterns in children 6 to 12 years: An observational study

Kumari Pratima, Pankaj Mittal, Alka Aggarwal


Media from traditional television to the “new media” (including cell phones, I pads and social media), are a dominant force in children’s lives. The evidence is now clear that they can and do contribute substantially to many different risks and health problems and that children and teenagers learn from, and may be negatively influenced by, the media. The study was carried out to find out the prevalence of TV addiction, and 2 of its most important ill effects i.e. obesity and sleep disturbances, in children between 6 to 12 years, to assess the effect of excessive TV viewing on dietary habits and sleep patterns. An observational, analytical, cross-sectional study was conducted in the outpatient department of Pediatrics in Tertiary level Hospital, Ghaziabad in 500 children between 6-12 years of age from May 2016- April 2017. 80% of children spent more than 2 hours in front of TV out of which 23.4% were watching for more than 4 hours. Snacking habits increased with increased screen time (p<0.001). There was a statistically significant difference in the mean time taken to consume meals while watching TV and while not watching TV. Maximum night awakening was observed in the study group watching 2-4 hours (66.9%).


Keywords: TV viewing, Dietary effects, Sleep, Addiction.

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