Prolonged TV viewing linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease
Watching television is the most common daily activity apart from work and sleep in many parts of the world, but it is time for people to change their viewing habits. According to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, prolonged TV viewing was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.
The study appears in the June 15, 2011, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"The message is simple. Cutting back on TV watching can significantly reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and premature mortality," said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH. "We should not only promote increasing physical activity levels but also reduce sedentary behaviors, especially prolonged TV watching," said Hu.
Many people around the world divide their days largely between working, sleeping, and watching television, according to the researchers. Europeans spend an average of 40 percent of their daily free time in front of the television set; Australians, 50 percent. This corresponds to three to four hours of daily viewing still less than a reported average of five hours in the U.S. The negative health effects of TV viewing have been documented in prior studies, including associations with reduced physical activity levels and unhealthy diets.
Hu and first author Anders Grøntved, a doctoral student and visiting researcher in the HSPH Department of Nutrition, conducted a meta-analysis, a systematic assessment of all published studies from 1970 to 2011 that linked TV viewing with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Eight large prospective cohort studies from the United States, Europe, and Australia met the researchers' criteria and were included in the meta-analysis.
The results showed that more than two hours of TV viewing per day increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and more than three hours of daily viewing increased risk of premature death. For each additional two hours of TV viewing per day, the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality increased by 20, 15, and 13 percent respectively. Based on disease incidence in the United States, Hu and Grøntved estimated that among 100,000 individuals per year, each 2-hour increment in TV viewing per day was associated with 176 new cases of type 2 diabetes, 38 new cases of fatal cardiovascular disease, and 104 new cases of all-cause mortality.
Hu and Grøntved found that the effect of prolonged television viewing on type 2 diabetes, which usually occurs in adults, was to some extent explained by the unfavorable influence of TV viewing on obesity. Obesity is related to unhealthy eating habits and low activity levels, major risk factors for both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Limitations to the meta-analysis included the relatively small number of studies and that the assessment of TV viewing was self-reported by participants. In addition, the majority of the studies did not assess the role of diet and physical activity in explaining the adverse effects of TV watching on chronic disease risk.
"Sedentary lifestyle, especially prolonged TV watching, is clearly an important and modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said Grøntved. "Future research should also look into the effects of extensive use of new media devices on energy balance and chronic disease risk."
More information: "Television Viewing and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis," Anders Grøntved, Frank B. Hu, Journal of the American Medical Association, June 15, 2011.
Provided by Harvard School of Public Health
- Parents' physical inactivity influences children May 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study links hypertension in obese children to television viewing Oct 30, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Sedentary TV time may cut life short Jan 11, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Drop the Remote and Step Away From the TV: Your Life May Depend on It Feb 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Children who watch more TV are fatter Feb 26, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 10 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Kate O'Reilly's spring allergy survival kit includes the usual stuff - nasal sprays, allergy pills and a box of tissues. This season, she's added a new weapon to her line of defense: an app on her smartphone.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0