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.
obesity television women veterans
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Hedley AA, Ogden CL, Johnson CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, Flegal KM. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children, adolescents, and adults, 1999–2002. JAMA. 2004;291:2847–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Healthy People 2010. 2005. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2005. Available at: http://www.healthypeople.gov/. Accessed July 21, 2005.Google Scholar
Fletcher GF, Blair SN, Blumenthal J, et al. Statement on exercise. Benefits and recommendations for physical activity programs for all Americans. A statement for health professionals by the Committee on Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart association. Circulation. 1992;86:340–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prevalence of leisure-time and occupational physical activity among employed adults—United States, 1990. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000;49:420–4.Google Scholar
Physical activity and cardiovascular health. NIH Consensus Development Panel on physical activity and cardiovascular health. JAMA. 1996;276:241–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielsen Report on Television. New York: Nielsen Media Research; 2003.Google Scholar
Papazian E. TV Dimensions. New York: Media Dynamics Inc.; 2003.Google Scholar
Ching PL, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Colditz GA, Gortmaker SL, Stampfer MJ. Activity level and risk of overweight in male health professionals. Am J Public Health. 1996;86:25–30.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sidney S, Sternfeld B, Haskell WL, Jacobs DR Jr., Chesney MA, Hulley SB. Television viewing and cardiovascular risk factors in young adults: the CARDIA study. Ann Epidemiol. 1996;6:154–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cameron AJ, Welborn TA, Zimmet PZ, et al. Overweight and obesity in Australia: the 1999–2000 Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Med J Aust. 2003;178:427–32.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Leon AS, et al. Compendium of physical activities: classification of energy costs of human physical activities. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993;25:71–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gore SA, Foster JA, DiLillo VG, Kirk K, Smith West D. Television viewing and snacking. Eat Behav. 2003;4:399–405.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dietz WH Jr., Gortmaker SL. Do we fatten our children at the television set? Obesity and television viewing in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 1985;75:807–12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
Dittmar ML. Relations among depression, gender, and television viewing of college students. J Soc Behav Personal. 1994;9:317–28.Google Scholar
Voelkl JE, Fries BE, Galecki AT. Predictors of nursing home residents’ participation in activity programs. Gerontologist. 1995;35:44–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Onyike CU, Crum RM, Lee HB, Lyketsos CG, Eaton WW. Is obesity associated with major depression? Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am J Epidemiol. 2003;158:1139–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carpenter KM, Hasin DS, Allison DB, Faith MS. Relationships between obesity and DSM-IV major depressive disorder, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts: results from a general population study. Am J Public Health. 2000;90:251–7.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dobie DJ, Kivlahan DR, Maynard C, Bush KR, Davis TM, Bradley KA. Posttraumatic stress disorder in female veterans: association with self-reported health problems and functional impairment. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:394–400.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frayne SM, Seaver MR, Loveland S, et al. Burden of medical illness in women with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1306–12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kazis LE, Miller DR, Clark J, et al. Health-related quality of life in patients served by the Department of Veterans Affairs: results from the Veterans Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:626–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dobie DJ, Maynard CB, Kivalahan DR, et al. PTSD screening status is associated with increased VA medical and surgical utilization in women. J Gen Intern Med. 2006;21(suppl 3):S58-S64.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Executive summary of the clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158:1855–67.Google Scholar
Paeratakul S, White MA, Williamson DA, Ryan DH, Bray GA. Sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and BMI in relation to self-perception of overweight. Obes Res. 2002;10:345–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
(US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Physical activity and health: a report of the Surgeon General. 1996Google Scholar
Berwick DM, Murphy JM, Goldman PA, Ware JE Jr., Barsky AJ, Weinstein MC. Performance of a five-item mental health screening test. Med Care. 1991;29:169–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dobie DJ, Kivlahan DR, Maynard C, et al. Screening for post-traumatic stress disorder in female Veteran’s Affairs patients: validation of the PTSD checklist. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2002;24:367–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar