Back in July, while I was writing for my previous blog, I reviewed a study published last January that followed 8,800 adults for 6+yrs and found that for every hour spent in front of the television, all-cause mortality increased by 11% and cardiovascular mortality increased by 18% compared to those who watched less than 2 hours/day.
Well, another study has just been published that arrives at the same general conclusion. After following 4,512 adults for 4+ years, the authors noted that all-cause mortality increased by 52% while cardiovascular mortality more than doubled when comparing those who watched >4 hours/day to those who watched less than 2 hours/day of television. Their definition of television watching extended to playing video games and sitting in front of a computer monitor.
The above findings held true even after taking into account age, sex, ethnicity, obesity, smoking, social class, long-standing illness, marital status, diabetes, and hypertension. Through statistics way beyond my comprehension, they concluded that 25% risk could be accounted for by BMI, CRP & HDL. What really troubled me was that physical activity was unable to protect against the ravages of screen time. In other words, exercising vigorously did not mitigate a time spent in front of the television. Unfortunately, I find it difficult to imagine that even our grandchildren will consider the television a public health threat.