Link Between Television and Obesity
The link between television and obesity is irrefutable. Americans watch about four hours of television each day. Those who watch television for more than three hours each day are twice as likely to become obese as those who watch television less than one hour each day.
The television is turned on in the average household for about seven-hours a day.
Watching television burns fewer calories than almost any other behavior. In fact, excess screen time of any type is linked to obesity. Read: Are Cell Phones a Health and Obesity Risk?
Effect of Television on Weight Gain
The television is turned on in the average household for about seven-hours a day. The American Journal of Health Behavior states there is a link between the amount of time an adult watches television and obesity. Increased television viewing also increases snacking.
The news regarding children and the television obesity link is alarming.
Children watch television for an average of three hours per day and view 40,000 commercials. Brand loyalties can be established by as young as two years old. The risk for obesity increases by 7% for every hour children spend watching television on weekends at age five. Children who watch more than two hours of television per day on weekends are more likely to become obese as adults.
A final disturbing point is that 14% of young people say they get no physical activity at all.
How Watching TV Leads to Obesity
Food commercials are influential. One of the ways television leads to obesity is through advertising. There is a ridiculous number of commercials for unhealthy foods and beverages. These commercials are so influential that companies are regulated during election season. Advertisements that can be shown during children’s programming are regulated as well. Read: Coca-Cola Anti-Obesity Ad.
People eat more when watching television. Television distracts, and people overindulge without taking notice. A study of female undergraduate students found that they ate an equivalent of one extra meal on days they watched television while eating. Read: Evaluate Eating Habits for Weight Loss
Poor eating habits extend beyond the time spent in front of the television. Researchers have found that people tend to eat more during a meal that is after tv viewing time. Read: Measuring Body’s Hunger Signals
Addressing the Problem
Suggestions to break the habit of eating while watching television are straightforward and simple. The first is watch less television. Recommended tv viewing time is just over one hour per day. A brisk daily walk of thirty minutes is recommended as is removing televisions from bedrooms and kitchens.
Do not eat while watching television. This will help to prevent overeating because people pay less attention to how much they eat when they are watching television. Read: Bad Eating Habits That Cause Weight Gain
In good health,
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.