Screen Time and Physical Activity in Dutch Adolescents: The Moderating Effect of Healthy Diet and Physical Activity
Scheurink, Stan Scheurink
MetadataShow full item record
Previous studies on adolescents' BMI found positive relations with food consumption, lack of physical activity and screen time but hardly investigated interactions between these factors. Therefore, the present study investigated the relationship between screen time, measured with social media use and gaming frequency and BMI among Dutch adolescents, and tested whether the link between screen time and BMI was affected by the frequency of physical activity and a healthy diet. Data from the Dutch Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) study collected in 2017 were used. The sample included 7392 adolescents aged between 11 and 18 years old (M = 14.16, SD = 1.66). In line with expectations, a simple linear regression showed a main effect for gaming. A higher score on gaming predicted a higher BMI. Social media use did not play a role. Furthermore, a higher score on physical activity predicts a lower BMI, but healthy diet did not play a role. Contrary to expectations, a healthy diet and physical activity showed no buffering effect on the link between screen time and BMI. Thus, gaming is positively connected to BMI, and physical activity is negatively related to BMI, but physical activity cannot counteract the negative influence of gaming on gaining weight.