Associations Between Television Viewing and Adiposity Among South Asians

Yichen Jin, Loretta DiPietro, Namratha R. Kandula, Alka M. Kanaya, Sameera A. Talegawkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Sedentary behaviors related to television (TV) viewing are associated with adiposity; however, few investigations have focused on South Asians, an ethnicity particularly vulnerable to metabolic perturbations. This study examined the relationships between TV viewing and adiposity in a cohort of middle-aged and older South Asians. Method: Data were obtained from Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America (MASALA) study (N = 906; mean age [standard deviation] = 55 [9.4] years, 46% women). TV viewing hours per week was assessed through questionnaire and classified into tertiles for analysis. Multivariate linear regression models were used to examine the associations between TV viewing and measures of adiposity and body composition including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, pericardial fat volume, and visceral, subcutaneous, and inter-muscular fat area after adjusting for covariates including intentional exercise. Results: Participants who were women, older, with lower education levels, and living longer in the United States watched TV for longer periods of times. Duration of TV viewing was positively associated with BMI (p < 0.001), waist circumference (p < 0.001), visceral fat area (p = 0.001), and pericardial fat volume (p = 0.003) independent of intentional exercise. Conclusions: While studies in South Asians with a longitudinal design need to confirm our findings, our cross-sectional results indicate that reduction in TV viewing may be beneficial in reducing adiposity and maintaining a healthy body composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1062
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Adiposity
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Sedentary behavior
  • South Asians
  • Television viewing
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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