OBJECTIVE We investigated whether television (TV) viewing and low leisure-time physical activity in adolescence predict the metabolic syndrome in mid-adulthood.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS TV viewing habits and participation in leisure-time physical activity at age 16 years were assessed by self-administered questionnaires in a population-based cohort in Northern Sweden. The presence of the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was ascertained in 888 participants (82% of the baseline sample) using the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Odds ratios (ORs) and CIs were calculated using logistic regression.
RESULTS The overall prevalence of the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was 26.9%. Adjusted OR for the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was 2.14 (95% CI 1.24–3.71) for those who reported “watching several shows a day” versus “one show/week” or less and 2.31 (1.13–4.69) for leisure-time physical activity “several times/month” or less compared with “daily” leisure-time physical activity at age 16 years. TV viewing at age 16 years was associated with central obesity, low HDL cholesterol, and hypertension at age 43 years, whereas low leisure-time physical activity at age 16 years was associated with central obesity and triglycerides at age 43 years.
CONCLUSIONS Both TV viewing and low leisure-time physical activity in adolescence independently predicted the metabolic syndrome and several of the metabolic syndrome components in mid-adulthood. These findings suggest that reduced TV viewing in adolescence, in addition to regular physical activity, may contribute to cardiometabolic health later in life.
- Received September 24, 2012.
- Accepted December 11, 2012.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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