Yes, yes, slouching in front of a TV might be hazardous to our health. But just how hazardous? Researchers have crunched the numbers in an attempt to quantify how much the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and death increases with time spent in front of the TV. And the figures aren’t pretty.
To make the calculations, Dr. Frank Hu from the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues analyzed eight studies that included data on these health conditions and time spent watching TV.
For every two hours of TV watching, researchers found, the risk of Type 2 diabetes increased by 20%, the risk of heart disease increased by 15%, and the risk of death during the follow-up period increased by 13%. The association for this latter risk was especially strong for people watching more than three hours of TV per day.
All of this is not to say that TV will kill you -- or give you heart disease or diabetes. Obviously.