Title

Relationships between body fatness, small-screen sedentary activity and regionality among school children in Victoria, Australia

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

Objective: To examine the difference in body fatness and engagement in small-screen activities across children living in different degrees of regionality, and to examine the relationship between child body fatness and small-screen activities. Design: Cross-sectional study design. Participants: Grade 5–6 schoolchildren (n = 393) from central and metropolitan Victoria, and a parent/guardian of each child (n = 393). Main outcome measures: Parents completed a questionnaire on their child's engagement in television (TV) viewing and video game playing (VGP). Children's weight and height were measured by a researcher. Body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2) was calculated and adjusted for age and sex. Regionality (metropolitan, population > 100 000; regional, 100 000 > population < 20 000; and rural, population < 10 000) and socioeconomic status (socioeconomic indexes for areas: index of disadvantage) were assigned according to school attended. Results: BMI did not differ across regionality or sex. Boys engaged in more VGP than girls, and metropolitan children engaged in more VGP than rural and regional children. TV viewing did not differ across sex or regionality. VGP did not predict BMI, and TV viewing did not predict girls' BMI. Three to four per cent of the variance in boys' BMI was predicted by TV viewing. Conclusions: Boys and metropolitan children engage in more VGP. Boys', but not girls', BMI is related to TV viewing. Interventions designed to decrease engagement in TV viewing should be targeting boys.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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