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WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: associations between sleep duration, screen time and food consumption frequencies
Department of Biometry and Data Management, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, BIPS GmbH, Bremen, Germany .
Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health Through the Life-Course, WHO Regional Office for Europe, UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark .
Obesity Management Centre, Institute of Endocrinology, Prague 1, Czech Republic .
Örebro universitet, Restaurang- och hotellhögskolan.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7165-279X
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2015 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 15, no 1, 442Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Both sleep duration and screen time have been suggested to affect children's diet, although in different directions and presumably through different pathways. The present cross-sectional study aimed to simultaneously investigate the associations between sleep duration, screen time and food consumption frequencies in children.

Methods: The analysis was based on 10 453 children aged 6-9 years from five European countries that participated in the World Health Organization European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative. Logistic multilevel models were used to assess associations of parent-reported screen time as well as sleep duration (exposure variables) with consumption frequencies of 16 food items (outcome variables). All models were adjusted for age, sex, outdoor play time, maximum educational level of parents and sleep duration or screen time, depending on the exposure under investigation.

Results: One additional hour of screen time was associated with increased consumption frequencies of 'soft drinks containing sugar' (1.28 [1.19; 1.39]; odds ratio and 99% confidence interval), 'diet/light soft drinks' (1.21 [1.14; 1.29]), 'flavoured milk' (1.18 [1.08; 1.28]), 'candy bars or chocolate' (1.31 [1.22; 1.40]), 'biscuits, cakes, doughnuts or pies' (1.22 [1.14; 1.30]), 'potato chips (crisps), corn chips, popcorn or peanuts' (1.32 [1.20; 1.45]), 'pizza, French fries (chips), hamburgers' (1.30 [1.18; 1.43]) and with a reduced consumption frequency of 'vegetables (excluding potatoes)' (0.89 [0.83; 0.95]) and 'fresh fruits' (0.91 [0.86; 0.97]). Conversely, one additional hour of sleep duration was found to be associated with increased consumption frequencies of 'fresh fruits' (1.11 [1.04; 1.18]) and 'vegetables (excluding potatoes)' (1.14 [1.07; 1.23]).

Conclusion: The results suggest a potential relation between high screen time exposure and increased consumption frequencies of foods high in fat, free sugar or salt whereas long sleep duration may favourably be related to children's food choices. Both screen time and sleep duration are modifiable behaviours that may be tackled in childhood obesity prevention efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, no 1, 442
Keyword [en]
Childhood overweight; Computer use; Cross-sectional study; Europe; Food frequency; Screen time; Sleep; Snacks; TV viewing
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health; Culinary Arts and Meal Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-304857DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-1793-3ISI: 000354838000001PubMedID: 25924872ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84930011010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-304857DiVA: diva2:1034406
Swedish Research Council

Funding Agencies:

Bulgaria: Ministry of Health

Bulgaria: National Center of Public Health and Analyses

Bulgaria: Regional Health Inspectorates

Czech Republic: Internal Grant Agency of the Ministry of Health IGA NS/9832-4

Lithuania: Lithuanian State Science and Studies Foundation

Lithuania: Lithuanian University of Health Sciences

Lithuania: Research Council of Lithuania SIN-17/2012

Portugal: Ministry of Health

Portugal: Regional Health Directorates

Sweden: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Directorate-General for Health in Lisbon, Portugal

National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge in Lisbon, Portugal

National Institute of Health in Rome, Italy

Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway

Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity in Athens, Greece

Directorate-General for Health of France

Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden

Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2016-10-11

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