Clustering and correlates of screen-time and eating behaviours among young adolescents

Pearson, N., Griffiths, P., Biddle, S.J.H., Johnston, J.P. ORCID: 0000-0003-2954-5234, McGeorge, S. and Haycraft, E., 2017. Clustering and correlates of screen-time and eating behaviours among young adolescents. BMC Public Health, 17 (1). ISSN 1471-2458

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Background: Screen-time and eating behaviours are associated in adolescents, but few studies have examined the clustering of these health behaviours in this age group. The identification of clustered health behaviours, and influences on adolescents’ clustered health behaviours, at the time when they are most likely to become habitual, is important for intervention design. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and clustering of health behaviours in adolescents, and examine the sociodemographic, individual, behavioural, and home social and physical environmental correlates of clustered health behaviours.

Methods: Adolescents aged 11–12 years (n=527, 48% boys) completed a questionnaire during class-time which assessed screen-time (ST), fruit and vegetable (FV), and energy-dense (ED) snack consumption using a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Health behaviours were categorised into high and low frequencies based on recommendations for FV and ST and median splits for ED snacks. Adolescents reported on their habits, self-efficacy, eating at the television (TV), eating and watching TV together with parents, restrictive parenting practices, and the availability and accessibility of foods within the home. Behavioural clustering was assessed using an observed over expected ratio (O/E). Correlates of clustered behaviours were examined using multivariate multinomial logistic regression.

Results: Approximately 70% reported having two or three health risk behaviours. Overall, O/E ratios were close to 1, which indicates clustering. The three risk behaviour combination of low FV, high ED, and high ST occurred more frequently than expected (O/E ratio = 1.06 95% CI 1.01, 1.15. Individual, behavioural, and social and physical home environmental correlates were differentially associated with behavioural clusters. Correlates consistently associated with clusters included eating ED snacks while watching TV, eating at the TV with parents, and the availability and accessibility of ED snack foods within the home.

Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of screen time and unhealthy eating, and screen time is coupled with unhealthy dietary behaviours. Strategies and policies are required that simultaneously address reductions in screen time and changes to habitual dietary patterns, such as TV snacking and snack availability and accessibility. These may require a combination of individual, social and environmental changes alongside conscious and more automatic (nudging) strategies.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: BMC Public Health
Creators: Pearson, N., Griffiths, P., Biddle, S.J.H., Johnston, J.P., McGeorge, S. and Haycraft, E.
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 31 May 2017
Volume: 17
Number: 1
ISSN: 1471-2458
4441Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 20 Jun 2017 13:30
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 15:12

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