There’s an old adage that says TV rots your brain. While this may not be literally true, there are ways it can contribute to the spoiling of your health. A newly published meta-study carried out by researchers at Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health (SSEHS), in England, has underscored potential health hazards of spending too much time in front of the tube.
Data was collected from 53 separate international studies which focused on sedentary behavior as it relates to dietary and television viewing habits. A strong association was found between watching large amounts of television and increased intake of nutritionally poor foods such as high-calorie snacks, fast food, and soda. A reduction in fruit and vegetable consumption among avid TV viewers was also identified.
According to Dr. Natalie Biddle, lead author of the investigation, the negative influence television has may stem from some combination of interrelated factors. Constant bombardment of commercial advertisements during segment breaks and even within actual programming can encourage unhealthy food-related decisions. When this influence is combined with regular exposure to short bursts of highly targeted audio and visual stimulation, it has a very real effect on the viewer’s attention span and can impact their ability to make informed decisions properly.