Do bedroom screens and the mealtime environment shape different trajectories of child overweight and obesity? Research using the Growing Up in Scotland study

Parkes, A. , Green, M. and Pearce, A. (2020) Do bedroom screens and the mealtime environment shape different trajectories of child overweight and obesity? Research using the Growing Up in Scotland study. International Journal of Obesity, 44, pp. 790-802. (doi: 10.1038/s41366-019-0502-1) (PMID:31827254)

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Objective: To investigate how mealtime setting, mealtime interaction and bedroom screens are associated with different trajectories of child overweight and obesity, using a population sample. Methods: Growth mixture modelling used data from children in the Growing Up in Scotland Study born in 2004/5 (boys n = 2085, girls n = 1991) to identify trajectories of overweight or obesity across four time points, from 46 to 122 months. Using data from children present at all sweeps, and combining sexes (n = 2810), mutually adjusted associations between primary exposures (mealtime setting, mealtime interaction and bedroom screens) and trajectory class were explored in multinomial models; controlling for early life factors, household organisation and routines, and children’s diet patterns, overall screen use, physical activity and sleep. Results: Five trajectories were identified in both sexes: Low Risk (68% of sample), Decreasing Overweight (9%), Increasing Overweight (12%), High/Stable Overweight (6%) and High/Increasing Obesity (5%). Compared with the Low Risk trajectory, High/Increasing Obesity and High/Stable Overweight trajectories were characterised by early increases in bedroom screen access (respective relative risk ratios (RRR) and 95% confidence intervals: 2.55 [1.30–5.00]; 1.62 [1.01–2.57]). An informal meal setting (involving mealtime screen use, not eating in a dining area and not sitting at a table) characterised the High/Increasing Obesity and Increasing Overweight trajectories (respective RRRs compared with Low Risk trajectory: 3.67 [1.99–6.77]; 1.75 [1.17–2.62]). Positive mealtime interaction was associated with membership of the Increasing Overweight trajectory (RRR 1.64 [1.13–2.36]). Conclusion: Bedroom screen access and informal mealtime environments were associated with higher-risk overweight and obesity trajectories in a representative sample of Scottish children, after adjusting for a wide range of confounders. Findings may challenge the notion that positive mealtime interaction is protective. Promoting mealtimes in a screen-free dining area and removing screens from bedrooms may help combat childhood obesity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Green, Dr Michael and Pearce, Dr Anna and Parkes, Dr Alison
Authors: Parkes, A., Green, M., and Pearce, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:International Journal of Obesity
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1476-5497
Published Online:11 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019
First Published:First published in International Journal of Obesity 44:790-802
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU13
174091Improving life chances & reducing child health inequalities: harnessing the untapped potential of existing dataAnna PearceWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)205412/Z/16/ZHW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit