Watching lots of TV could lead to diabetes

Watching lots of TV could lead to diabetes

New research suggests binge-watching multiple episodes of popular TV shows like “Mad Men” or “Game of Thrones” could increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A recent study shows that for every hour spent watching TV each day, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes goes up 3.4 percent. Researchers found that among those who were overweight and already prediabetic, the increased risk occurred regardless of whether the subjects were on diabetes medication, or if they were exercising and maintaining a healthy diet.

“Spending more screen or TV time makes you less productive in terms of physical activity and is associated with more unhealthy and un-portioned snacking,” says Dr. Liza Yambay, Advocate Medical Group endocrinologist at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “This can lead to obesity, and thus increase the risk of diabetes.”

Researchers concluded that the sedentary, inactive nature of watching TV was the culprit for increased risk. Previous research shows that physical activity can help ward off the disease.

“Less time spent watching TV per day over a three-year follow-up translated into a lower risk of developing diabetes, even after controlling how much physical activity people were reporting,” said Bonny Rockette-Wagner, lead study author from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, in a press release.

Paige Beal, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at BroMenn Medical Center, encourages people to get up during every commercial while watching TV and walk around. Doing so will not only add some physical activity, but will also help to avoid food advertisements that entice individuals to eat more.

“If you increase your exercise, this aids with weight loss, a decrease in blood glucose levels and an increase in insulin sensitivity to keep glucose levels in the ideal range,” Beal says. “People should limit TV time to less than two hours daily to decrease the risk of obesity and health-related problems.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.