Eat Weight Disord. 2016 Oct 18.
The rapid rise in the global prevalence of obesity suggests that environmental factors may be responsible. The increased use of technology is associated with increased rates of obesity due to declines in physical activity and significant sedentary life style. Internet addiction is also a growing health issue associated with diminished physical activity and poor sleep quality as well as various health problems. The purpose of this study was to determine associations between Internet addiction and adolescent obesity-related problems.
DESIGN AND METHODS:
In this case-control study, 71 adolescents with obesity were recruited from the outpatient clinic at Tepecik Teaching Hospital and Katip Celebi University Hospital, Department of Pediatric Endocrinology in Izmir, Turkey. The control group consisted of 64 non-obese adolescents that were matched with patients in the study group by age and gender. All subjects completed socio-demographic forms, an Internet addiction scale, the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale.
Adolescents with obesity were significantly more likely to have Internet addiction (p = 0.002), lower quality of life (p < 0.001), and higher daytime sleepiness (p = 0.008). Moreover, binary regression analysis showed that Internet addiction and less physical activity were associated with increased odds of obesity.
The results indicated a significant association between Internet addiction and obesity. Health practitioners should take possible Internet addiction, online activities, and physical activities into consideration in follow-up of obese adolescents. In addition to pharmacologic therapies and dietary interventions, providing behavioral therapy targeting healthy Internet use may be promising to reduce the effects of obesity in adolescence.
Health-related quality of life; Obesity; Physical activity; Sleepiness