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Watching TV increases Americans’ diabetes risk by nearly 18 percent, study shows




Television watching increases diabetes risk, scientists have now confirmed. By studying over 3,000 overweight Americans, a research study demonstrated that risk for type 2 diabetes increased over 14 percent in those watching four hours of television a day. The average American watches 5.11 hours of television per day. The diabetes risk increased by 3.4 percent for each hour of television watching. Other seated activities, such as computer use, may have a similar detrimental effect, but the study only investigated the impact of television watching.

The research study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and published in the journal, Diabetologia. Lead author Dr. Bonny Rockette-Wagner found “a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes with increased television watching (3.4 per centper hour spent watching television.”

She went on to state, “Our finding of a relationship between sedentary behavior and diabetes incidence means that reductions in sitting can translate into a positive health effect separate from improvements to moderate-vigorous activity like brisk walking.” During the study, participants were given either metformin (a commonly used drug to treat diabetes) or a placebo. All of them participated in lifestyle interventions. The interventions including adding 150 minutes of exercise per week to their lives. During the study, participants were asked to spend 140 minutes a day watching television. Funding for the research was provided by U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.