Aim: This study aimed to assess the relationship of screen time and metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Iranian adolescents.
Materials and Methods
In this nationwide study, the propensity score (PS) was used in a matched case-control study design. The data was obtained from 5,625 students aged 10-18 years, who participated in a national school-based surveillance program. MetS was defined according to the criteria of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). In addition, the continuous MetS score (cMetS) was calculated and the best cutpoint for cMetS was selected based on the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve estimate of sensibility and specificity. Data analysis was performed by a conditional logistic regression in 2014.
Screen time increased the risk of MetS by 44% with a near significant P- value (P=0.052). The time spent on computer during leisure time was significantly associated with MetS and waist circumference (P<0.05). Moreover, the time spent on watching TV had significant relationship with elevated serum triglyceride levels (P<0.05).
The current findings serve as confirmatory evidence on the adverse health effects of prolonged ST, including the association of leisure time computer use with increase in the risk of MetS and excess weight, as well as the relationship of the time spent on watching TV with serum triglycerides levels. Reducing sedentary leisure time activity, notably ST, should be considered as a health priority for the pediatric age group.