Study links hypertension in obese children to television viewing

October 30, 2007

San Diego, October 30, 2007 - Researchers from the University of California, San Diego; the Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego; the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of South Alabama determined that television viewing is not only linked to childhood obesity, but also to hypertension in children, according to a study published in the December 2007 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Childhood obesity is a major health concern in the United States. As of 2004, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimated that 17% of children and adolescents were obese. Obesity is known to increase the possibility of cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension. Recent studies have shown that cardiovascular risk factors in childhood are significant predictors of preclinical atherosclerosis in adulthood.

Data was gathered regarding 546 subjects, aged 4 to 17 years, who were evaluated for obesity at pediatric subspecialty weight management clinics in San Diego CA, San Francisco CA, and Dayton, OH, from 2003 to 2005. Children and their parent(s) were given a written questionnaire, which was used to estimate the average daily time spent watching TV, and then a physician verbally reviewed and confirmed the time estimate. The height and weight of the children were measured to determine a Body Mass Index (BMI) and their blood pressures were recorded.

Investigators determined that TV time was positively correlated with the severity of obesity. After controlling for race, site, and BMI score, both the severity of obesity and daily TV time were significant independent predictors of the presence of hypertension. Children watching 2 to 4 hours of TV had 2.5 times the odds of hypertension compared with children watching 0 to <2 hours. The odds of hypertension for children watching 4 or more hours of TV were 3.3 times greater than for children watching 0 to <2 hours of TV.

Writing in the article, Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, MD (Associate Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, San Diego and Director of Weight and Wellness at Rady Children's Hospital - San Diego), states, "The current study illustrates the need for considerable physician and family involvement to decrease TV time among obese children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children watch less than 2 hours of TV per day, but reports that only half (51%) of pediatricians make this recommendation to patients...TV viewing is an attractive target for intervention, particularly among obese children with hypertension. Several studies have demonstrated that changing TV time alone can lead to weight loss, without any changes in physical activity."

In a commentary published in the same issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Stuart J.H. Biddle, from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, UK, cautions that studies of TV viewing are part of a recent trend to study sedentary behaviors in general, and such studies are difficult to interpret.

He argues, "There is much debate concerning whether TV viewing is associated with obesity in young people...For example, an extensive meta-analysis of mainly cross-sectional studies showed that the relationship is very small...Moreover, the small relationship may be a reflection of other trends...If obesity is causally related to TV viewing, as some suggest, how do we account for the following paradoxes: (1) obesity levels are increasing but TV viewing figures are not, (2) obesity increases during adolescence at the same time that TV viewing decreases, and (3) boys watch more TV than girls but show less obesity and greater physical activity" Whatever the true findings, the association between sedentary behavior (TV viewing or other behaviors) and health outcomes, at least in youth, is likely to be complex and, as yet, unknown."
-end-
The article is "Television Viewing and Hypertension in Obese Children" by Perrie E. Pardee, BS, Gregory J. Norman, PhD, Robert H. Lustig, MD, Daniel Preud'homme, MD, and Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, MD. The commentary is "Sedentary Behavior", by Stuart J.H. Biddle, BEd, MSc, PhD, CPsychol. Both appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 33, Issue 6 (December 2007) published by Elsevier.

Elsevier Health Sciences

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.