Television watching hours, advertisements on television and nutritional behaviors among 11 -year- old students in ankara-turkey

Selda Tekiner., Tuba Yağcı Yılmaz and Gülsen Ceyhun Peker

Background and Aim: It has been put forward that self-care behaviors involving the food preferences become quite permanent immediately after the age of 10. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between the food preferences, the time spent in watching television (TV) and most viewed programs on TV among the children at the age of 11.
Methodology and Materials: The population of the study is the 11-year-old children living in Ankara who are in their first grade of the secondary school education and a total number of 55655 students was identified in this respect.
A sample group was selected by using three-stage cluster sampling and random sampling methods from the regions with the highest student density.
All statistical analysis were carried out by means of SPSS 22.0 for Windows software (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Data were presented as the number of cases and “%” for categorical variables. Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test were used to determine whether there was a relationship between BMI levels (slim, normal and overweight), the weekday TV watching hours, most viewed programs, most recognized commercials and gender. A p-value of less than 0.05 was regarded statistically crucial.
Results: Half of the students are boys and half are girls. The intense TV watching periods were from 1 to 3 hours a day on weekdays and at the weekends. While the boys had a tendency to watch the commercially advertised programmes in the first order, the girls appeared to watch them in the third order among all the programmes. The most recognized commercials were about food. Most of the students consumed an advertised fast-food product at least once a day.
Conclusion: It has been found out that there is a direct relation between the food preferences and the time spent on TV among the children at the age of 11. It should be the priority of the health workers to warn and direct school administrations as well as their families about the reduction of the time spent on watching TV and the development of a realistic perspective on the food advertisements.

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