Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 21, Supplement 3, pp S76–S81 | Cite as

Television viewing practices and obesity among women veterans

  • Kay M. JohnsonEmail author
  • Karin M. Nelson
  • Katharine A. Bradley
Original Articles


BACKGROUND: Obesity is epidemic in the U.S. and has been associated with television viewing.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the association between obesity and television viewing practices among women veterans.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional, mailed survey completed by 1,555 female veterans enrolled at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in 2000.

MEASUREMENTS AND METHODS: We used bivariate and multivariate analyses to assess the association of obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2 based on self-reported height and weight) with self-reported number of hours of television or videos viewed per day, and frequency of eating meals or snacking while watching television, controlling for other covariates.

RESULTS: Watching television >2 hours per typical day on week days and/or weekends was associated with obesity (P<.001), as was eating or snacking while watching television (P=.003). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, watching television >2 hours per day and eating or snacking while watching television were each associated with obesity (odds ratio [OR] 1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 to 1.8; and OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.7, respectively), after adjusting for demographic variables, smoking, physical activity, and depression. Results were similar when posttraumatic stress disorder was included in the model instead of depression. Women who both watched >2 hours of television per day and ate or snacked while viewing were almost twice as likely to be obese (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.6).

CONCLUSION: Watching television over 2 hours per day and eating while watching television were each associated with obesity among female VA patients and may be modifiable risk factors for obesity.

Key words

obesity television women veterans 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kay M. Johnson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Karin M. Nelson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Katharine A. Bradley
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Primary and Specialty Medical Care ServiceVA Puget Sound Health Care SystemSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Health Services Research and DevelopmentVA Puget Sound Health Care SystemSeattleUSA

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