Investigation of the Correlation between Screen Time, Social Media Status, and BMI Status among Mason College Students



Alsayegh, Abdulrahman

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People's lives have become increasingly reliant on technology, especially with the emergence of social media. Research has shown that high technology usage has a detrimental impact on health and is linked to rising rates of overweight individuals and obesity worldwide (Chau et al., 2014; Liu et al., 2021; Melton et al., 2014). There is a surge in the number of college students who use technology. Previous research examined the effect of technology on BMI in children and adolescents (Alotaibi et al., 2020; Rosen et al., 2014; Shen et al., 2021), but to date, there has been limited research conducted on young adults ages between 18 -24. Increased technology usage is one of the main culprits that lead to poor dietary choices and sedentary lifestyles, both of which have been linked to an increase in BMI (Chau et al., 2014; Liu et al., 2021; Melton et al., 2014). This study aims to examine the relationship between screen time usage and an increase in body mass index (BMI) among George Mason University college students. The data was abstracted from the Health Starts Here Study and included 131 first year students from George Mason University. Technology usage, BMI, diet, physical activity, and sleep were obtained through various questionnaires and anthropometric measurements. These variables were analyzed using different statistical tests: Person's correlation, independent t-tests, and stepwise regression analysis. The results showed that there is a non-significant correlation between using social media, BMI, and dietary choices. Person's correlation result revealed that the correlation between social media and BMI was r (129) =.072 p=.416 while the correlation between BMI and diet was r (129) =.09 p=.30. T-test result showed on average low-tech usages (M#.24, SD=5.09) had lower BMI scores than high-tech usage (M$.71, SD=6.81). This study concludes that the amount of time of using social media has no impact on increasing BMI.



Screen time, Physical activity, Diet, Body weight/Body Mass Index (BMI), Technology, Social media