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The Relationship between New Media Exposure and Fast Food Consumption among Chinese Children and Adolescents in School: A Rural-Urban Comparison

Hansstein, Francesca Valeria; Hong, Yu; & Di, Chen. (Forthcoming). The Relationship between New Media Exposure and Fast Food Consumption among Chinese Children and Adolescents in School: A Rural-Urban Comparison. Glob Health Promotion.


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BACKGROUND: In recent decades, China has experienced an exponential growth in the number of internet users, especially among the youngest population, as well as a rapid proliferation of Western-type fast food restaurants. The health consequences of internet availability and fast food consumption among youth have been largely studied in Western countries, but few studies have focused on China. OBJECTIVES: This paper has two goals. The first is to evaluate the differences in new media exposure and preferences for fast foods between rural and urban areas. The second goal is to test the association between new media exposure and fast food consumption. The targets of this analysis are Chinese children and adolescents aged 6-18 attending school at the time of the interview. METHODS: Research hypotheses were tested using mean-groups comparisons for differences between rural urban sub-samples, and logistic regressions with odds ratios to estimate the relationship between media exposure and preferences towards fast foods. Cross-sectional data from the 2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey were employed. RESULTS: Watching online videos and playing computer games are behaviors associated with higher probabilities of eating at fast food restaurants in both rural and urban young residents, with higher odds in rural areas. Surfing the internet is associated with higher odds of being overweight in both rural and urban settings. Results also show that children living in rural areas spend significantly more time playing computer games, watching TV and videotapes, but less time doing homework than their urban peers. CONCLUSIONS: This paper suggests that monitoring the nutritional effects of new media exposure in China is of key importance in order to develop adequate health promotion policies, in both rural and urban areas.




JOUR



Hansstein, Francesca Valeria
Hong, Yu
Di, Chen



Forthcoming


Glob Health Promotion










10.1177/1757975915602187



2401