Association of Television Watching on Physical Activity and Obesity among Children in Pokhara, Nepal
Sedentary behavior of children is increasing day by day due to use of modernized technologies like electronic medias and devices. Many studies are exploring the effects of prolonged television viewing on physical activity and obesity throughout the childhood. This study aims to assess the television viewing habits, leisure time physical activity and prevalence of obesity among children in Pokhara sub metropolitan, Nepal. A cross-sectional study was performed based upon six wards of Pokhara sub-metropolitan. Self developed questionnaire was used to evaluate the different parameters like socio-demographic, lifestyle characteristics and anthropometric characteristics. Anthropometric measurement was done using stadiometer and bathroom weighing machine. Data was entered in the Epi-Data software. Data were transferred into Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software for analysis. Total 306 children aged 8-12 years included in the study, there was higher prevalence of television watching where 69.6 percent exceeded for more than 2 hours per day with mean TV viewing time to be 154.97±60.66 minutes per day. The daily time spent watching television was positively associated with obese children (p=0.005, OR=2.863, 95% CI= 1.343-6.103). More than 65 percent of children had low physical activity. Similarly, normal body mass category also showed positive association with physical activity level (p=0.04, OR=0.367, 95% CI=0.181-0.741) and leisure time physical activity level (p<0.001, OR=0.230, 95% CI=0.125-0.425). The current finding reveals that almost one third of children population exceeded the limit of 2 hours/day of TV viewing. Monitoring and limitation of children’s TV viewing time along with encouragement in alternative entertainments like reading, walking and athletics and healthy eating habits should be done in order to reduce epidemic of obesity.
Key words: Television watching, Obesity, Physical activity, Children