Prevalence and associated factors of excessive recreational screen time among Colombian children and adolescents

Objectives: Excessive recreational screen time (RST) is associated with detrimental effects for physical, psychological and cognitive development. This article aims to describe the prevalence of excessive RST among Colombian preschoolers, children and adolescents and explore its factors associated.

Methods: We analyzed data from the National Survey of Nutrition 2015. The sample included 4,503 preschoolers, 5,333 school-aged children and 6,623 adolescents. Poisson regression models with robust variance were conducted to estimate prevalence ratios and determine associated factors of excessive RST.

Results: Fifty percent of preschoolers, 61% of school-aged children and 73% of adolescents in Colombia had excessive RST. Positive associations were observed with the availability of TV in the child’s bedroom, the availability of video games at home, and eating while using screens. A negative association with rural area was observed for all age groups.

Conclusion: The majority of Colombian children and adolescents have excessive RST. Younger preschoolers, older school-aged children, wealthiest children and those from urban areas should be targeted by interventions to decrease RST. These interventions should promote limiting the availability of electronic devices in children’s bedrooms and not eating in front of screens.

Lead Researchers

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  1. Jean-Philippe Chaput

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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  2. Mark S. Tremblay

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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