Dr. Gary Goldfield and several other HALOs are authors on a paper, “Screen time is associated with depressive symptomatology among obese adolescents: a HEARTY study,” that was recently published in the European Journal of Pediatrics. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Goldfield GS, Murray M, Maras D, Wilson AL, Phillips P, Kenny GP, Hadjiyannakis S, Alberga A, Cameron JD, Tulluch H, Sigal RJ. Screen time is associated with depressive symptomatology among obese adolescents: a HEARTY study. Eur J Pediatr. 2016 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]



Obese adolescents spend a disproportionate time in screen-based activities and are at higher risk for clinical depression compared to their normal-weight peers. While screen time is associated with obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors, little is known about the relationship betweenscreen time and mental health. This cross-sectional study examines the association between duration and types of screen time and depressivesymptomatology (subclinical symptoms) in a sample of 358 (261 female; 97 male) overweight and obese adolescents aged 14-18 years. Self-report measures assessed depressive symptoms and time spent in different types of screen behavior (TV, recreational computer use, and video games). After controlling for age, ethnicity, sex, parental education, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, caloric intake, carbohydrate intake, and intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, total screen time was significantly associated with more severe depressive symptomatology (β = 0.21, p = 0.001). After adjustment, time spent playing video games (β = 0.13, p = 0.05) and recreational computer time (β = 0.18, p = 0.006) wasassociated with depressive symptoms, but TV viewing was not. CONCLUSIONS: Screen time may represent a risk factor or marker of depressive symptomatology in obese adolescents. Future intervention research should evaluate whether reducing screen exposure reduces depressive symptoms in obese youth, a population at increased risk for psychological disorders. What is Known: • Screen time is associated with an increased risk of obesity in youth. • Screen time is associated with an adverse cardio-metabolic profile in youth. What is New: • Screen time is associated with more severe depressive symptoms in overweight andobese adolescents. • Time spent in recreational computer use and playing video games, but not TV viewing, was associated with more severedepressive symptoms in overweight and obese adolescents.