Watching More TV As A Young Adult Predicts Obesity

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and the University of Pittsburgh, please share your comments below…..

familytvSome people who watch more television than their peers are at increased risk for injuries, new University of Pittsburgh study finds.

The more hours young adults spend watching television each day, the greater the likelihood that they’ll have a higher body mass index and bigger waist circumference, a 15-year analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health revealed.

The association did not hold in later years, indicating that young adulthood is an important time to intervene and promote less television viewing, according to the research published online in the journal SAGE Open.

“We were quite surprised to find that television viewing was associated with subsequent obesity for young adults, but not for the middle-aged,” said lead author Anthony Fabio, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. “This suggests that middle-aged adults may differ from young adults in how they respond to the influence of TV viewing.”

Dr. Fabio and his colleagues analyzed data from 3,269 adults recruited from Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Minneapolis, and Oakland, Calif., who participated in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. For 15 years starting in 1990, the participants reported their television viewing habits and had their waist circumference measured and their body mass index (a measure of weight and height that can indicate obesity) calculated every five years.

The more time participants spent watching television when they were approximately 30 years old, the more likely they were to be obese five years later, compared to their peers who spent less time in front of the television. The team did not have data on younger ages.

Dr. Fabio and his team suspect many potential reasons for the association, including that young adults may be more likely to snack during television viewing and consume unhealthy food due to their greater susceptibility to the seduction of junk food advertising on television. In support of that hypothesis, the CARDIA study also found that participants were more likely to eat healthier foods as they aged.

The analysis found that 23 percent of the men and 20.6 percent of the women participating in the study watched four or more hours of television daily. Within that group of heavy TV watchers, 35.9 percent were black, and 8.6 percent were white; and 40.8 percent had a high school education or less, vs. 17.4 percent with an education beyond high school.

A lower family income and higher rates of smoking and drinking also were associated with more time spent watching television.

“Television viewing and obesity are both highly prevalent in many populations around the world,” said Dr. Fabio. “This means that even small reductions in television viewing could lead to vast public health improvements. Reducing sedentary time should be a healthy lifestyle guideline heavily promoted to the public. Our study indicates that the biggest bang for the buck would be in targeting young adults for interventions to reduce television viewing. Healthy lifestyle behaviors should start at early ages.”

Additional authors on this research are Chung-Yu Chen and Karen Matthews, Ph.D., of Pitt; Stephen Dearwater, M.S., of Jackson Memorial Hospital; David Jacobs, Ph.D., Darin Erickson, Ph.D., and Mark Pereira, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Carlos Iribarren, M.D., Ph.D., and Stephen Sidney, M.D., M.P.H., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

This research was funded by in part by research grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) (R03AG028504) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U49-CE000764). The CARDIA study is supported by contracts HHSN268201300025C, HHSN268201300026C, HHSN268201300027C, HHSN268201300028C, HHSN268201300029C and HHSN268200900041C from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Intramural Research Program of the NIA, and an intra-agency agreement between NIA and NHLBI (AG0005).

About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. Pitt Public Health is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health problems. For more information about Pitt Public Health, visit the school’s Web site at http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu.

Four Ways That Watching TV Can Kill You Prematurely

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By Dr. Michael Wald

familytv1. The average American wastes years in the seated position. This can lead to increased death risk from heart attack and stroke. People should be mindful of standing periodically when watching TV; doing jumping jacks; push-ups; sit ups; stationary bike – anything that promotes circulation and involves increasing ones heart rate.

2. Sitting increases the risk of developing clots in the legs called deep vein thrombosis or DVTs – a condition that can result in death of lung tissue (pulmonary infarction), cerebral stroke and death. While sitting raising ones heels off the floor (both feet), either at the same or alternately, promotes venous drainage of blood in the feet and legs improving blood flow towards the heart; sluggish or pooled blood in the lower extremities can cause blood to coagulate (stick) forming clots (DVTs). These clots then can go to the heart, lungs and brain and cause life threatening health problems. Sitting with the feet elevated also decreases the risk of developing potentially deadly DVTs.

3. Sitting also promotes weight gain from a slowed metabolism. If one must sit, raising the arms above head alternately, or each arm one at a time, will speed up metabolic rate, burn calories and reduce all causes of premature morbidity and mortality. Sedentary living leads to increased cardiovascular risk; loss of muscle mass and tone; fat and water retention and even memory loss just to name a few hazards.

scale4. Prolonged sitting while watching TV promotes weight gain associated with increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels by increasing insulin levels. Hyperinsulinemia is a major cause of cardiovascular disease when associated with blood sugar problems. Eventually, prolonged inactivity such as TV watching will fatigue the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, causing hypoinsulinemia (low insulin levels). This raises blood sugar and causes diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States.

– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.