Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



BACKGROUND: Obesity is a problem for Hispanic and American Indian children. Sedentary behavior has been linked to increased body weight and poor dietary quality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations between different forms of sedentary behavior involving exposure to electronic media with dietary intake and body mass index (BMI) Percentile. METHODS: My cross-sectional study used baseline anthropomorphic measures and parent survey data collected as part of the Child Health Initiative for Lifelong Eating and Exercise (CHILE) study. I used multivariate linear regression to evaluate the relationship between different forms of sedentary behavior (time per week spent watching television, watching pre-recorded DVD/video, and playing computer/video games) and dietary intake (servings per day of fruit, vegetables, whole grain, dairy, and discretionary fats/sugars) and BMI Percentile. All analyses controlled for age, race/ethnicity, and gender. RESULTS: I found a statistically significant association between duration of television viewing and daily servings of dairy (p<0.05) and discretionary fats/sugars (p<0.001). There was also a statistically significant relationship between duration of DVD/video viewing and daily servings of dairy (p<0.005) and discretionary fats/sugars (p<0.001). Statistically significant inverse relationships were seen between duration of computer/video game use and daily servings of fruit (p<0.01) and discretionary fats/sugars (p<0.05). After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and gender, I did not find statistically significant relationship found between duration of any electronic media exposure and BMI Percentile. CONCLUSIONS: Different forms of electronic media exposure are significantly associated with different dietary intakes, but not with BMI Percentile. My findings add to the understanding of the association between different forms of sedentary behavior, dietary intake, and body weight in Hispanic and American Indian children in rural communities. This knowledge could be used to promote further research into the effects of electronic media use on childhood obesity, and to develop interventions to treat and prevent childhood obesity.


CHILE, American Indian, Childhood Obesity, Diet, Hispanic, Media, Television

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mishra, Shiraz

Second Committee Member

Keane, Patricia

Third Committee Member

Gonzales, Melissa