Does Watching TV Affect Glycemic Control in Kids with Type 1 Diabetes?

Overweight young boy with a remote control device in handWhat affects glycemic control in kids with type 1 diabetes?  How much TV they watch?  How long they play computer games?  How active they are?  How much money their family has?  Researchers from Germany recently looked into this, and their study—“Associations Between Media Consumption Habits, Physical Activity, Socioeconomic Status, and Glycemic Control in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes”—was published online on September 16, 2011, in Diabetes Care.

There were 296 children, adolescents, and young adults with type 1 diabetes in this cross-sectional study.  The researchers used self-report questionnaires to assess media consumption habits, level of physical activity, and socioeconomic status.  A1c levels and clinical data were also collected, and risk factors were analyzed by multiple regression.

The children were aged 13.7±4.1 years.  Their A1c was 8.7±1.6%, and their diabetes duration was 6.1±3.3 years.

The study found that the type 1 diabetic subjects spent 2.9±1.8 hours watching TV and using computers.  Their weekly physical activity was 5.1±4.5 hours.

Using multiple regression analysis, the researchers found that diabetes duration, socioeconomic status, and daily media consumption amount were significant risk factors for glycemic control.  Physical activity was not a significant factor.

The authors note that further studies are needed to better understand metabolic control.

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