More Than Three Hours of TV Viewing Increases the Risk of Premature Death: Harvard School of Public Health

Premature death and TV viewing, are they really related to each other? This might be the question in everyone’s mind after looking the title. If the same question is posed to the researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), they will definitely say ‘yes’. They have conducted a study on the regular TV viewers and concluded that, “prolonged TV viewing was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death.

According to the study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, many people around the world divide their day for working, sleeping and watching television. Even in the most developed countries like America and Europe the average TV watching time is 45% of the daily free time of an individual. This means on an average, Europeans are spending 3-4 hours before the television sets while the Americans are spending nearly five hours a day.

The researchers from the department of nutrition, HSPH conducted a meta-analysis nothing but a systematic assessment of all published studies from 1970 to 2011 that linked TV viewing with different health related problems. Different research study reports conducted by the researchers from United States, Europe and Australia were also taken in to consideration for this meta-analysis.

The report of their in-depth research showed that

  • 2 hours of regular TV viewing per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • More than three hours of TV watching per day increased the risk of premature death.
  • For each two hours of additional TV watching, increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20%, risk of cardiovascular diseases by 15% and premature mortality by 13%.

The researchers added that it is not only enough if we increase the rate of physical activities, but it is equally important to reduce sedentary behaviors especially TV watching.

The effects of TV viewing on type 2 diabetes, which is usually seen in adults was to some extent explained by the unfavorable influence of TV viewing on obesity. Obesity is a physical disorder which is related to unhealthy food habits and low physical activity levels. It is also one of the major risk factors for both, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

These studies are supported by the report provided by the Danish Heart Foundation, Sygekassernes Helsefond, the Oticon Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

By the above study it is evident that, what people think as a relaxing activity can actually take away their life much early. So,if we cut down our TV watching time, we can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart diseases and premature death.

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