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Young children's screen habits are associated with consumption of sweetened beverages independently of parental norms.

Journal article
Authors Steingerdur Olafsdottir
Gabriele Eiben
Hillevi Prell
Sabrina Hense
Lauren Lissner
Staffan Mårild
Lucia Reisch
Christina Berg
Published in International journal of public health
Volume 59
Issue 1
Pages 67-75
ISSN 1661-8564
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Pages 67-75
Language en
Keywords Children, Television, Advertisements, Soft drinks, Parents, Family, Food habits
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Domestic science and nutrition


OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the associations between children's screen habits and their consumption of sweetened beverages. Because parents might be disposed to regulate their child's screen and dietary habits in a similar direction, our specific aim was to examine whether these associations were independent of parental norms. METHODS: In the Swedish sample of the European Identification and prevention of dietary and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants (IDEFICS) study, parents filled in questionnaires about their 2 to 9-year-old children's (n = 1,733) lifestyle and diets. RESULTS: Associations between screen habits and sweetened beverage consumption were found independent of parental norms regarding sweetened beverages. A longitudinal analysis revealed that sweetened beverage consumption at 2-year follow-up was predicted by exposure to commercial TV at baseline (OR 1.4, 95 % CI 1.1-1.9). Cross-sectional analysis showed that the likelihood of consuming sweetened beverages at least 1-3 times per week increased for each hour/day watching television (OR 1.5, 95 % CI 1.2-1.9), and for being exposed to commercials (OR 1.6, 95 % CI 1.3-2.1). TV viewing time and commercial exposure contributed to the associations independently of each other. CONCLUSIONS: The results strengthen the assumption that it is possible to influence children's dietary habits through their TV habits.

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