Body Mass Index and the Literacy on Obesity in Relation to Media Following
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of TV, magazines, radio, and internet following on body mass index (BMI) and obesity-related literacy among adults
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the subjects were recruited from an outpatient center in the city of Sombor, Serbia during Mar-Apr 2013. We collected data by a questionnaire from 657 (397 women; 59%) subjects, aged from 18 to 87 yr (Mean = 45; SD =14). The questionnaire consisted of personal data, body height and weight, frequency of television, radio, magazines and internet following and personal opinion on the impact of smoking, alcohol consumption, stress and physical inactivity on obesity.
Results: Spearman’s rank correlation analysis showed that BMI increased with longer TV viewing with a very weak strength of the correlation (r=0.104; P=0.009) and decreased with more internet following with a weak strength of the correlation (r=-0.200: P<0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that only internet use had a significant independent effect on BMI. The frequency rise of internet following from "rare" to "often" and "every day" decreased BMI by 0.5 per each grade. Internet followers showed a significantly better knowledge of the importance of smoking (P = 0.003), alcohol consumption (P<0.001) and physical inactivity (P=0.004) for obesity in comparison to non-followers.
Conclusion: Internet is the only media that independently and positively influence weight control and the literacy on obesity among adults.
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