Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prolonged TV viewing linked to increased risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease

Date:
June 15, 2011
Source:
Harvard School of Public Health
Summary:
Prolonged TV viewing is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death, a new study suggests.

New research finds that prolonged TV viewing is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.
Credit: © alessandrozocc / Fotolia

Watching television is the most common daily activity apart from work and sleep in many parts of the world, but it is time for people to change their viewing habits. According to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, prolonged TV viewing was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

The study appears in the June 15, 2011, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The message is simple. Cutting back on TV watching can significantly reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and premature mortality," said senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH. "We should not only promote increasing physical activity levels but also reduce sedentary behaviors, especially prolonged TV watching," said Hu.

Many people around the world divide their days largely between working, sleeping, and watching television, according to the researchers. Europeans spend an average of 40 percent of their daily free time in front of the television set; Australians, 50 percent. This corresponds to three to four hours of daily viewing -- still less than a reported average of five hours in the U.S. The negative health effects of TV viewing have been documented in prior studies, including associations with reduced physical activity levels and unhealthy diets.

Hu and first author Anders Grøntved, a doctoral student and visiting researcher in the HSPH Department of Nutrition, conducted a meta-analysis, a systematic assessment of all published studies from 1970 to 2011 that linked TV viewing with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Eight large prospective cohort studies from the United States, Europe, and Australia met the researchers' criteria and were included in the meta-analysis.

The results showed that more than two hours of TV viewing per day increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and more than three hours of daily viewing increased risk of premature death. For each additional two hours of TV viewing per day, the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality increased by 20, 15, and 13 percent respectively. Based on disease incidence in the United States, Hu and Grøntved estimated that among 100,000 individuals per year, each 2-hour increment in TV viewing per day was associated with 176 new cases of type 2 diabetes, 38 new cases of fatal cardiovascular disease, and 104 new cases of all-cause mortality.

Hu and Grøntved found that the effect of prolonged television viewing on type 2 diabetes, which usually occurs in adults, was to some extent explained by the unfavorable influence of TV viewing on obesity. Obesity is related to unhealthy eating habits and low activity levels, major risk factors for both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Limitations to the meta-analysis included the relatively small number of studies and that the assessment of TV viewing was self-reported by participants. In addition, the majority of the studies did not assess the role of diet and physical activity in explaining the adverse effects of TV watching on chronic disease risk.

"Sedentary lifestyle, especially prolonged TV watching, is clearly an important and modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said Grøntved. "Future research should also look into the effects of extensive use of new media devices on energy balance and chronic disease risk."

Support for the study was provided by the Danish Heart Foundation, Sygekassernes Helsefond (the Danish Health Fund), the Oticon Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anders Grøntved, Frank B. Hu. Television Viewing and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis. JAMA, 2011;305(23):2448-2455 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.812

Cite This Page:

Harvard School of Public Health. "Prolonged TV viewing linked to increased risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614161856.htm>.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2011, June 15). Prolonged TV viewing linked to increased risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614161856.htm
Harvard School of Public Health. "Prolonged TV viewing linked to increased risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614161856.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins