Is TV a health hazard?

Television can be a health hazard for many viewers, especially those that are glued to the screens. Watching too much television leads to weight gain, mental lapse, and other bad side effects. Of course, the average person doesn’t watch that much television, but some people take it to the next level and become addicted. Here’s how TV could affect your health:

It may expand your waistline. Here’s another reason to skip the commercials, in addition to watching less T. Most people think, ‘Well you spend a lot of time sitting around, so you gain weight.’ But most of the impact is just because of the marketing and advertising during that time that tends to increase intake of a range of unhealthy food products.


Binge-watching may increase your risk for diabetes. Research on people at higher risk for developing diabetes found that for each hour spent watching TV per day; the risk of developing the disease increased 3.4 per cent. TV watching was tracked as an indicator of time people spent sitting. Other research seems to indicate that we move even less while watching TV compared with other sedentary activities, like sitting at work.


It may be bad for baby-making. Although there’s evidence that watching TV, including in the bedroom, could increase amorousness, a Harvard study found that men who watched more than 20 hours of television per week had 44 per cent fewer sperm than guys who didn’t watch TV. Increased activity, by comparison, was associated with higher sperm counts. Previous research also associates prolonged TV viewing with increased risk of heart disease, which, for men, is also associated with higher rates of impotence.


It could damage your relationships. The more you believe in popular portrayals of romance on television, the less committed you may be to your real relationship, according to research published several years ago in the journal Mass Communication and Society. That ranges from unrealistic expectations of a spouse to seeing the “costs” of real relationships – such as the loss of time or freedom – as being higher, which could undermine what’s happening between the two of you in real life.

It could stunt a child’s first words. At an early age, children start tuning in to TV – and now other media, as kids play with smartphones. But while a FaceTime session with a family member might be okay, for the littlest among us, television can be bad news. Television exposure before age two is strongly correlated with decreased language development. We continue to advise parents not to have the television on or use television and movies routinely to entertain children under age 2.

It can rob us of sleep. Glued to the TV? Screen time from the TV to tablet – to the TV shows we watch on the tablet – can make it harder to unwind, cutting into precious sleep, as technology continues its creep into every aspect of our waking lives. One simple tip from the pros for adults and kids: Move the TV out of the bedroom – and don’t watch it there on mobile devices, either.

It could shorten our lives. A study of healthy young adults found that watching lots of TV is associated with premature death. The research, published last year in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that participants who reported watching three hours or more of TV per day had twice the risk of dying during the 8-year follow-up period than those who said they didn’t watch more than 1 hour per day. So, to add insult to injury: If you watch too much TV, you may die sooner than later.




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