Indulging in mass media could prompt you to make healthier decisions, according to findings (subscription required) recently published in International Journal of Public Health.
Italian researchers examined data from a sample of more than 1,000 people from a large epidemiological study. Participants completed a survey on how often they watched TV or read newspapers, magazines or online news sites, and they provided additional information about their medical history, lifestyle and dietary habits. The Atlantic reports:
The people who were most exposed to information delivered by any mass media source reported higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet, which is considered the healthiest eating model in the world and the most effective for reducing the risk of chronic and neurodegenerative diseases. More precisely, they reportedly ate less animal fats and more fruits and fresh fish.
Researchers say the results suggest that when people consume mass media for information purposes, rather than entertainment, it can positively affect their health. Still, plenty of studies have shown that hours spent watching TV can increase obesity risk in children and adults, so more research is needed to fully understand how media habits influence health habits.