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Stanford Medicine

Cardiovascular Medicine, Public Health, Research

Glued to the tube? You could be putting your health at risk

Couch potatoes, turn off those TV sets. A new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association reinforces the notion that too much TV time is bad for your health. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a meta-analysis on eight different studies done between 1970 and 2011 and found that the results were consistent across the board: Two hours of daily television watching was tied to a 20 percent greater risk for diabetes, a 15 percent higher chance of cardiovascular disease and a 13 percent elevated risk for all-cause deaths.

TV watching is the most common sedentary activity besides sleeping or sitting in front of a computer at work; Americans spend an average of 5 hours of TV per day. The results weren’t shocking to Frank Hu, MD, PhD, a Harvard nutritionist and epidemiologist. He tells HealthDay News:

The results really are not surprising at all. We already know that people who watch a lot of TV are more likely to eat an unhealthy diet and be obese. The message is actually quite simple . . . those who watch a lot of TV should cut back on TV watching and do more of something else.

Previously: Research links watching TV to an increased risk of death
Photo by DaGoaty

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