Television Viewing Practices and Obesity Among Women Veterans

Previous research has demonstrated an association between obesity and high amounts of television viewing. This study describes the relationship between obesity and television viewing among a population of women veterans. A mail survey was completed by 1,555 female veterans enrolled at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in 2000. The researchers used bivariate and multivariate analyses to assess the association of obesity with self-reported number of hours of television or videos viewed per day and frequency of eating meals or snacking while watching television.

Key Findings:

  • Watching television for more than two hours per day and eating or snacking while watching television were each associated with obesity even after adjusting for demographic variables, smoking, physical activity and depression.
  • Similar results were found when controlling for posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Women who watched more than two hours of television per day and ate or snacked while viewing were almost twice as likely to be obese as women who watched less than two hours per day and rarely snacked or ate while viewing.