Television viewing and body fat distribution among Bengali school children of Kolkata, India

Keywords: Bengali, Kolkata, India, television viewing, physical activity, adiposity, school girls


Background: Childhood obesity is considered as a major concern since a couple of decades. The increasing prevalence of childhood obesity is clear and concerns about the future health impact of childhood obesity are currently well documented. Low level of physical activity, high quantity of fat rich junk food consumption and prolonged leisure time with television (TV) viewing were reported to be significantly associated with obesity.

Objective: The present study aims to evaluate the association of body fat distribution with television watching among school going Bengali children of Kolkata, India.

Sample and Methods: 200 girls (aged 10-15 years) from a very heterogeneous background were selected from one state school. Data on socio-demographic aspects, TV viewing, computer use, physical activity and dietary pattern were collected by pretested questionnaire after obtaining prior consent from competent persons. Anthropometric measurements were taken following standard techniques.

Results: Most of the participants preferred fat rich junk food and a few practice regular exercises. One-way ANOVA showed significant differences of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) between groups depending on the duration of TV viewing. The adiposity related variables were standardized by standard deviation score before the inferential analyses. Adjusted multiple linear regression showed positive effects of the duration of TV viewing on BMI (R2=0.233) and MUAC (R2=0.277).

Conclusion: Irrespective of economic status, prolonged television watching leads to an adverse body fat distribution among teenage girls of Kolkata.


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How to Cite
Sarkar, S. (2023). Television viewing and body fat distribution among Bengali school children of Kolkata, India. Human Biology and Public Health, 3.