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High Calorie, Low Nutrient Food/Beverage Intake and Video Gaming in Children as Potential Signals for Addictive Behavior

Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research, University of Southern California, 2001 N. Soto Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(12), 4406-4424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8124406
Received: 28 September 2011 / Revised: 22 November 2011 / Accepted: 22 November 2011 / Published: 29 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Co-Occurrence and Specificity)
Little is known about the co-occurrence of health risk behaviors in childhood that may signal later addictive behavior. Using a survey, this study evaluated high calorie, low nutrient HCLN intake and video gaming behaviors in 964 fourth grade children over 18 months, with stress, sensation-seeking, inhibitory control, grades, perceived safety of environment, and demographic variables as predictors. SEM and growth curve analyses supported a co-occurrence model with some support for addiction specificity. Male gender, free/reduced lunch, low perceived safety and low inhibitory control independently predicted both gaming and HCLN intake. Ethnicity and low stress predicted HCLN. The findings raise questions about whether living in some impoverished neighborhoods may contribute to social isolation characterized by staying indoors, and HCLN intake and video gaming as compensatory behaviors. Future prevention programs could include skills training for inhibitory control, combined with changes in the built environment that increase safety, e.g., implementing Safe Routes to School Programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: eating; video gaming; children; addictive behavior eating; video gaming; children; addictive behavior
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Pentz, M.A.; Spruijt-Metz, D.; Chou, C.P.; Riggs, N.R. High Calorie, Low Nutrient Food/Beverage Intake and Video Gaming in Children as Potential Signals for Addictive Behavior. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4406-4424.

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