Association between screen time and body mass index among university students

Keywords: Screen time, body mass index.


AIMS: Screen time has been proven to be associated with overweight and obesity among pediatric. However, the relationship between these two variables has not been confirmed among university students in Malaysia who are having increasing screen time. Hence, this study is conducted to examine the association between screen time and body mass index (BMI) among university students.
METHODS: A total of 390 university students (female=236, male=154) with a mean age of 20.17 years old were involved in this study. They completed the Screen Time Based Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaire for total screen time assessment. Body height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index (BMI).
RESULTS: Prevalence of overweight and obesity were not high among university students (12.3% and 4.4%). Male subjects have generally higher BMI compared to female subjects. The smartphone was the most common device owned by subjects (33%). The screen time of subjects was high as there were 97.4% of subjects fell under the category of high screen time (> 2 hours). However, screen time was not significantly associated with BMI (p=0.36). The only variable which associated with screen time was the devices owned by subjects (p=0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Screen time was not significantly associated with BMI among university students. Future study should include the relationship of other factors on BMI among university students.


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How to Cite
Kalirathinam, D., Hui, T. X., Jacob, S., Sadagobane, S. K., & Chellappan, M. E. (2019). Association between screen time and body mass index among university students. Scientia Medica, 29(3), e33149.
Original Articles