Daily TV increases diabetes risk

Daily TV increases diabetes risk

Daily TV increases diabetes risk, according to new research from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Each hour daily spent watching television increases risk of diabetes by 3.4 percent.

The research team used data from the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study (published in 2002 and funded by the National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases [NIDDK] section of the US National Institutes of Health [NIH]). There were 3,234 participants who were at least 25 years old and were overweight. The goal of the study was to prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals with a metformin drug or lifestyle factor changes.

The group who had a lifestyle intervention and not the metformin drug reported greatest reduction in television watching and time spent sitting.

The research team then analyzed the impact of sedentary behavior including television watching on the risk of diabetes.

As senior author Andrea Kriska from the University of Pittsburgh wrote: “These findings are particularly noteworthy because a decrease in sitting occurred despite the absence of programme goals aimed at reducing sitting. It is likely that a lifestyle intervention programme that incorporates a specific goal of decreasing sitting time would result in greater changes in sitting and likely more health improvements than are demonstrated here. Finally, these results should inform future intervention efforts that already focus on goals of increasing activity and reducing weight to also consider emphasising sitting less.”

Richard Elliott, research communications manager at Diabetes UK, also commented on the study: “We already know that doing more physical activity and spending less time seated, along with eating a healthy balanced diet, are the best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. This study does not show watching TV to be a direct cause of type 2 diabetes, and does not directly compare the impact of watching TV with the impact of other seated activities, such as reading or commuting, but still adds to evidence that less time spent sitting helps to reduce your risk of this condition.”

The study showing that daily TV increases diabetes risk was published in the journal Diabetologia.

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1. “Study Finds Each Hour Spent Watching TV Daily Increases the Risk of Developing Diabetes by 3.4 Percent.” EurekAlert! Diabetologia, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
2. “Diabetes: Sitting to Watch TV ‘a Risk Factor’.” WebMD. Boots, 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

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