Television Viewing and Long-Term Weight Maintenance: Results from the National Weight Control Registry Douglas A. Raynor,* Suzanne Phelan,† James O. Hill,‡ and Rena R. Wing† Abstract RAYNOR, DOUGLAS A., SUZANNE PHELAN, JAMES O. HILL, AND RENA R. WING. Television viewing and long-term weight maintenance: results from the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity. 2006;14:1816 –1824. Objective: To examine the role of television (TV) viewing in long-term maintenance of weight loss. Research Methods and Procedures: All subjects (N 1422) were enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a national sample of adults who have maintained a minimum weight loss of 13.6 kg for at least 1 year. Participants self-reported the average number of hours of weekly TV viewing at entry into the NWCR and at a 1-year follow-up. Cross-sectional and prospective analyses were performed to determine the frequency of TV viewing and the extent to which TV viewing was independently associated with weight regain over the 1-year of follow-up. Results: A relatively high proportion (62.3%) of participants reported watching 10 or fewer hours of TV per week on entry in the NWCR. More than one third of the sample (36.1%) reported watching 5 h/wk, whereas only 12.4% watched 21 h/wk, which contrasts markedly from the national average of 28 hours of TV viewing per week reported by American adults. Both baseline TV viewing (p 0.02) and increases in TV viewing (p 0.001) over the follow-up were significant predictors of 1-year weight regain, independent of physical activity and dietary behaviors. Discussion: Individuals who are successful at maintaining weight loss over the long term are likely to spend a relatively minimal amount of time watching TV. Key words: television, weight loss maintenance, National Weight Control Registry
There is increasing recognition that sedentary behaviors, particularly television (TV)1 viewing, may play an important role in long-term weight regulation. This attention is attributable to the fact that the recent epidemic of overweight and obesity has occurred in parallel with a significant increase in the role of TV, VCRs, and DVDs in the daily lives of most Americans. With the exception of work and sleep, TV viewing consumes more time than any other behavior in the United States (1). American adults spend an average of 4 h/d watching TV (2). Moreover, TV viewing has been positively associated with overweight status in several cross-sectional (3,4) and prospective studies (5,6), and this association is independent of level of physical activity. Although there are apparently no published experimental studies with adults, several intervention studies have shown that reducing sedentary behaviors may be an effective way of promoting weight loss in overweight children (7–10). To our knowledge, TV viewing behavior has not been explored among individuals who have been successful at long-term weight loss maintenance. The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a sample of adults who have lost at least 30 lb ( 13.6 kg) and maintained the weight loss for at least 1 year, provides a unique opportunity to examine predictors of long-term weight maintenance. Individuals in
Received for review July 6, 2005. Accepted in final form July 12, 2006. The costs of publication of this article were defrayed, in part, by the payment of page charges. This article must, therefore, be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact. *Department of Psychology, The State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, New York; †Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island; and ‡Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado. Address correspondence to Douglas A. Raynor, Department of Psychology, The State University of New York at Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY...
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