Television (TV) viewing remain a popular forms of screen time for adolescents. Greater TV viewing is associated with a number of negative consequences for adolescent health. In a changing media landscape, it is important to understand adolescents’ overall and commercial TV exposure, and how TV viewing is linked to health risks (e.g., obesity, food addiction, and phone addiction). The purpose of this study was to: 1) examine differences by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and parental education in overall TV and commercial TV viewing and 2) investigate whether adolescents who watch more overall TV and commercial TV programming were more likely to have a higher BMI percentile, more addictive eating, and more addictive phone use. A sample of 190 adolescents (13-16 years of age) completed Time-Use Diaries (TUDs) in 2015-2017. We found that girls had more overall weekday TV time than males. No other gender differences were detected for weekend TV time or commercial TV time. Higher BMI percentile was not correlated with greater overall or commercial TV viewing. However, we did identify a positive association between overall TV viewing and commercial TV viewing with addictive-eating and addictive phone use. This effect was mainly driven by boys. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate patterns of television viewing and addictive-like eating and addictive phone use. We conclude that adolescents, particularly boys, with higher TV viewing may be more likely to present with problems with addictive eating behavior and phone use. Our findings add to the research on the behavioral health correlates of TV viewing among adolescents.
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