Effects of television on metabolic rate: Potential implications for childhood obesity

R. C. Klesges, M. L. Shelton, L. M. Klesges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

255 Scopus citations


The effects of television viewing on resting energy expenditure (metabolic rate) in obese and normal-weight children were studied in a laboratory setting. Subjects were 15 obese children and 16 normal-weight children whose ages ranged from 8 to 12 years. All subjects had two measures of resting energy expenditure obtained while at rest and one measurement of energy expenditure taken while viewing television. Results indicated that metabolic rate during television viewing was significantly lower (mean decrease of 211 kcal extrapolated to a day) than during rest. Obese children tended to have a larger decrease, although this difference was not statistically significant (262 kcal/d vs 167 kcal/d, respectively). It was concluded that television viewing has a fairly profound lowering effect of metabolic rate and may be a mechanism for the relationship between obesity and amount of television viewing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-286
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993


  • metabolic rate
  • obesity
  • television


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