Diabetes Risks Is TV Time Turning Couch Potatoes Into Diabetics?

Diabetes risks include prolonged television watching. According to a recent research review more than three hours of television watching a day may put you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. “While the associations between time spent viewing TV and risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease were linear, the risk of all-cause mortality appeared to increase with TV viewing duration of greater than three hours per day.”
TV is the most popular leisure activity in the United States, Australia and Great Britain. That’s good for the TV networks, but bad for us. Another new study suggests that all that time in front of the tube is becoming a health concern. Being a television-watching couch potato may be partially to blame for weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease risk.

Past studies have shown that people who watch a lot of TV are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than people who watch less TV. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions such as excess body fat, elevated insulin levels and high blood pressure that put people at risk for serious health conditions later in life. The goal of this research was to figure out whether the symptoms of metabolic syndrome become worse in people who increase their TV-viewing over a period of five years.

The study collected information from thousands of Australians about their health and lifestyles, then collected the same data from these subjects five years later in order to identify any changes. The results showed that an increase in TV watching does have an unhealthy effect. For both men and women, people who increased their TV viewing similarly increased their waistlines. Meanwhile, women who watched more TV also developed higher blood pressure than women who watched the same amount as before. Interestingly, these factors were not affected by exercise: even those who exercised more after five years showed increased signs of metabolic syndrome if they watched more TV.

As tempting as it is to relax in front of the television after a hard day, it won’t do you any favors in the long run.  You already know to limit your kids’ TV time, so follow some of your own advice. Get off the couch, turn off the TV, and be active: your health is more important than any sitcom episode.

To learn more about metabolic syndrome click here.

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