TV Addiction Ups Diabetes Risk

By Valerie Tejeda 08/01/12

Every hour spent watching television increases the risk of type 2 diabetes for seniors, shows a new study.

Time to put down the remote? Photo via

TV addiction boosts the risk of type 2 diabetes among older people, a new study says—further evidence that spending many hours in front of the television is unhealthy at any age. Researchers from the University of Queensland School of Population Health are the first to study how sedentary behavior like watching TV can effect the health of those 60 years or older. “Up until now, most research about sitting and watching TV has been focused on children, while older adults have potentially the most to gain from changing their behavior," says lead author Paul Gardiner. The study found that each hour spent watching TV increases the chance of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of cardiovascular disease predictors linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. Other factors linked to metabolic syndrome include smoking, high alcohol consumption, poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Performing light activity while sitting in front of the screen may reduce your chances of developing the disease, so researchers recommend at least getting up and moving a little if you have to get your TV fix. “Reducing sedentary behavior may be a feasible and practical way for older adults to improve their health," says Gardiner, "and may be particularly important for those whose health or physical functioning limits their participation in moderate-intensity physical activity."

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.