Communications 32 (4):417-446 (2007)

Western societies are confronted with a growing number of overweight and obese children. Past studies have pointed to excessive television viewing as one of the causes of this phenomenon. The aim of the current study was to examine the influence of parental mediation and modeling on TV use and obesity among pre-school children. A survey conducted among 608 parents of two-and-a-half to six year olds shows that obese children watch significantly more television, show more affinity towards television and more often have a TV set in their bedroom than normal weight and overweight children. For girls, parental restrictions on television viewing are negatively associated with their BMI. For boys, no similar relationship can be found. This study suggests that taking into account possible differences in television viewing behavior between pre-school boys and girls and paying attention to a wide range of television viewing variables can be fruitful for further research.
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DOI 10.1515/commun.2007.031
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