Can TV Kill Your Diet?

Weight gain. Diabetes. Bad posture. These, and a whole slew of other effects, come with your dedicated routine of watching TV. So yes, in short, TV can kill your diet — and more, according to different studies.

TV Dinners and Sedentary Lifestyles

Watching TV slays your health when you’ve made TV dinners the norm and when you’ve turned being sedentary into a lifestyle. Instead of savoring your meal and eating less, you’ll eat faster and more with the tube on. And Instead of enjoying the outdoors and being physically active, you’re sitting down 35 hours of the week, which Nielsen research shares is the average time Americans spend watching TV.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that included two groups; one ate while watching TV and the other ate without watching TV. It shared two significant conclusions:

1. Distracted eating tends to make people eat more, and

2. Paying attention to a meal was linked to eating less later on.

Participants who watched TV while eating were more likely to eat again after.

In another study reported by Time.com, researchers found that every hour spent sitting increases the risk of getting a metabolic disorder by 3.4 percent. Imagine if you were binge watching.

The Journal of American Medical Association combined data from eight different studies. It found that every additional two hours people spent watching TV meant a 20 percent increase of developing type 2 diabetes and a 15 percent increase of developing heart disease.

So watching TV and diseases — there is a significant link here, backed by numerous studies. And a report from CNN.com indicates that all studies showed “remarkably consistent findings,” across different populations, even.

TV Doesn’t Control You

OK. TV was never healthy to begin with, and it was never meant to stay on all day every day. You don’t have to turn on the TV once you get home from work. You don’t have to fall asleep to it. And you certainly don’t need to plop right down in front of it for dinner. (That is, unless you have no way of recording “The Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones.”)

The TV doesn’t have a remote control for you — you have a remote control for it. So exercise your power over the boob tube. Schedule your TV viewings. Turn on the TV only when your favorite show is on.

There’s a reason why studies indicate the number of hours that lead to health risks. Use those hours as your guide. Thirty-five hours in a week is bad? Cut down to just 10 hours every week. Some days there isn’t anything good on TV — even on cable. So why flip through the hundred channels trying to look for a good show?

List your plan and put it on the fridge. Most times, you end up getting lured by TV because you feel like there’s nothing else to do. Read a book. Go out at night and get drinks with friends. Take a short walk or bike around your neighborhood. Take the board game out and play a round or two with the family. Find a hobby — one that isn’t going to kill your diet.