Excess TV watching is linked to 8 leading causes of death

Excess TV watching is linked to 8 leading causes of death

Television is a major part of the American lifestyle. The Statistic Brain Research Institute reports that the average American spends about 5 hours a day watching television. Multiple studies have linked too much TV watching to diabetes, and other health problems.

New research from the National Cancer Institute shows that excess TV watching is linked to 8 leading causes of death.

In the new study, the National Cancer Institute looked at over 221,000 individuals aged 50-71 who did not have any chronic diseases at the beginning of the study. They confirmed the link between TV watching and higher risk of mortality from cancer and heart disease. They also found associations with the leading causes of death in the United States, including diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease.

We know that television viewing is the most prevalent leisure-time sedentary behavior and our working hypothesis is that it is an indicator of overall physical inactivity. In this context, our results fit within a growing body of research indicating that too much sitting can have many different adverse health effects,” explained lead investigator Sarah K. Keadle, PhD, MPH, Cancer Prevention Fellow, Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Keadle notes that further research is needed to confirm the results. “Our study has generated new clues about the role of sedentary behavior and health and we hope that it will spur additional research,” she said.

According to the study abstract:

The study found that compared to those who watched less than one hour per day, individuals who reported watching 3-4 hours of television watching per day were 15% more likely to die from any cause; those who watched 7 or more hours were 47% more likely to die over the study period. Risk began to increase at 3-4 hours per day for most causes they examined. The investigators took a number of other factors into consideration that might explain the associations observed, such as caloric and alcohol intake, smoking, and the health status of the population, but when they controlled for these factors in statistical models, the associations remained.”

The study showing that excess TV watching is linked to 8 leading causes of death was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Detrimental effects of watching television on sleep in young children.
Daily TV increases diabetes risk.
Health dangers of sitting too much.

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. 2 Nov. 2015.
2. “Prolonged TV Viewing Linked to 8 Leading Causes of Death in US.” EurekAlert! Elsevier Health Sciences, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.
3. “Causes of Death Associated With Prolonged TV Viewing.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.
4. “Television Watching Statistics.” Statistic Brain. Statistic Brain, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.

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