Factors associated with screen time among high school students in Fortaleza, Northeastern Brazil
Aims: To investigate the factors associated with the time adolescents spend watching television, using the computer, or playing video games.
Methods: Cross-sectional study with adolescents attending high school, randomly selected from four schools of the Liceu do Ceará network in the city of Fortaleza, Northeastern Brazil. The number of students invited to participate in the study was proportional to the representative sample of the school. All the data were self-reported, including: daily screen time (time spent watching television or using the video game or the computer), intake of soft drinks, sweets, and packaged snack foods, sex, age, school shift, occupational status, participation in physical education classes, and practice of extracurricular physical activity. The chi-square test for linear trend was used to assess the associations, and the significance level was set as p <0.05.
Results: A total of 964 students (46.4% aged 17 to 19 years and 51.5% female) were assessed. The prevalence of students who watched TV for more than 3 hours a day was 51.1% and the highest rate was observed among younger adolescents of both sexes, who did not work, went to school in the afternoon, and often consumed soft drinks, sweets, and packaged snack foods. Excessive use of computer / video games was observed in 21.85% of the sample, with a higher prevalence among boys who attended school in the morning and regularly consumed packaged snack foods.
Conclusions: Sociodemographic and behavioral factors, including eating habits, are associated with screen time among adolescents. However, associated factors differed depending on the most widely type of media used (TV, computer, or video games). These aspects should be considered in programs for the elimination of leisure time sedentary behavior among adolescents.
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