Television may be hazardous to your life. No, really. It’s true.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Well, now this is interesting …

“Prolonged TV viewing was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.”

That was the stated conclusion of a study the Journal of the American Medical Association recently completed after “relevant studies were identified by searches of the MEDLINE database from 1970 to March 2011 and the EMBASE database from 1974 to March 2011 without restrictions.”

Blah, blah, blah. A whole bunch of mumbo jumbo aimed at criticizing one of America’s favorite pastimes: The art of watching television. Come on, now. We don’t need a think-tank filled with overly analytical, white coat-wearing do-gooders to prove to us how hazardous keeping up with the Kardashians can be, right?

But the numbers. Oh, the numbers.

For every two hours of television viewing the following things have been proven: The risk of Type 2 diabetes increases 20 percent, the possibility of dying prematurely rises 13 percent and the odds of you coming down with some good, old-fashioned cardiovascular disease goes up 15 percent. Possibly the most important aspect of this study? It also found that Americans spend at least five hours per day watching television on average. Yeah, take some time and connect those dots.

What does this mean? Well, nothing really. Or, well, nothing we didn’t already know. Is it alarming? Maybe, depending on how much value you put on both your life and the latest episode of “Breaking Bad.” But is it going to ultimately force us to change our television-watching habits? Well, according to my non-scientific study that analyzes all of the wonderful people I know who watch television, there is a 99.5 percent change that no, this is not going to scare anybody away from their TVs (and yes, I made that up).

Now if we could only get a study on how watching television on a computer screen can take up to five years off your life …


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