Exploring family meals, sleep, and media use as predictors of childhood overweight/obese status in Oklahoma: A study from the 2016 national survey of children’s health
The alarming and sustained prevalence of childhood overweight/obese status in the United States continues to generate research studies on risk factors and prevention approaches. Despite previous and current public health interventions in the U.S., Oklahoma ranks the 6th worst state in obesity with a third of children between 10 to 17 years being overweight or obese and one in five high school students being obese (Shape Your Future, 2018; The State of Obesity, 2019). In attempts to fill this gap and to inform future public health prevention and management strategies of childhood overweight/obese status, the present study examined the risk factors that significantly predict childhood overweight/obese status within the home environment. Using the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and the Social Ecological Model (SEM) or Ecological Model (EM) as theoretical foundations, the study analyzed a representative subsample of 347 participants from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) to determine which risk factors (family meals, sleep, and media use) were the most significant at predicting childhood overweight/obese status in Oklahoma. Data analysis included two phases. During the first step, univariate analysis was used to explore each variable and summarize data in a meaningful way. The second step included a bivariate analysis that examined relationships between variables and a determination of which predictor variables were associated with the dependent variable at a statistically significant level (p< .05) for inclusion in the logistic regression analysis. Based on this study’s findings, none of the predictors of interest (family meals, sleep, and media use) was determined to be the significant risk factor in predicting childhood overweight/obese status. This study’s results could indicate either that all predictors equally predict childhood overweight/obese status or that other factors related to the study design affected the results of this study. These findings differ from studies on childhood obesity and they should be carefully considered in light of similar studies.