Background: Early childhood media exposure is associated with obesity and multiple adverse health conditions. The aims of this study were to assess parental attitudes toward childhood television (TV) viewing in a low-income population and examine the extent to which child BMI, child/parent demographics, and household media environment are associated with adherence to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for screen time. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study of 314 parents of children ages 0-5 years surveyed in English or Spanish by self-administered questionnaire at a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinic in Oregon. Results: In this majority Latino sample (73%), half (53%) of the children met AAP guidelines on screen time limits, 56% met AAP guidelines for no TV in the child's bedroom, and 29% met both. Children were more likely to meet AAP guidelines when there were <2 TVs in the home, there was no TV during dinner, or their parents spent less time viewing electronic media. Parents who spent less time viewing electronic media were more likely to report believing that TV provides little value or usefulness. Conclusions: In this low-income, predominantly Latino population attending WIC, parent media-viewing and household media environment are strongly associated with child screen time. Programs aimed at reducing child screen time may benefit from interventions that address parental viewing habits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics