Deadly TV

In addition to destroying your mental and emotional development, TV destroys your physical health. “There’s no shortage of research showing links between watching too much television and early death.”Consequences

  • “Every hour of television you watch reduces your life expectancy by close to 22 minutes.
  • “The researchers found people who watched more than three hours of television a day had double the risk of premature death when compared to those who watched less than one hour per day.
  • “But when they looked at other sedentary behaviors—driving a car and using a computer—they didn’t find the same links with early death.”1

What’s special about the findings is that other sedentary behaviors don’t have the same negative impact as TV-watching. TV specifically damages your health, over and above the negative impact of sedentary behavior in general.

It gets worse. “Evidence from a spate of recent studies suggests that the more TV you watch, the more likely you are to develop a host of health problems and to die at an earlier age.”

  • “In a new analysis published … in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers combined data from eight such studies and found that for every additional two hours people spend glued to the tube on a typical day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20% and their risk of heart disease increases by 15%.
  • “For every two hours Americans spend watching TV each day, there are 176 new cases of diabetes, 38 additional deaths from heart disease, and 104 additional deaths due to any cause per 100,000 people per year.”
    Note: That’s only two hours per day per 100,000 people. Given the US population of 324,000,000, and the fact that average US TV viewing is four hours per day—TV viewing causes a total of 1,140,480 new cases of diabetes, 246,240 additional deaths from heart disease, and 673,920 additional deaths, every year.
  • “The increased risk of disease tied to TV watching ‘is similar to what you see with high cholesterol or blood pressure or smoking’
  • “The findings are remarkably consistent across different studies and different populations
  • The studies “included more than 175,000 people around the world and generally lasted between 6 and 10 years … most controlled for a long list of health factors (such as body mass index, cholesterol levels, and family history of disease) in an effort to pinpoint the effect of TV watching.”2

Again, these studies rule out other factors and pinpoint TV as the cause of death and disease.

If you have read other posts on this blog, you know that TV deteriorates brain function, lowers intelligence, suppresses emotional development, and stifles creativity. Now you can add physical disease and early death to the costs of “unwinding in front of the TV.”


Claudine Ryan “Why is watching TV so bad for you?” ABC Health and Wellbeing. 7/24/2014.

2 Amanda Gardner “TV watching raises risk of health problems, dying young” CNN. 6/14/2011.

A wealth of references on these and related topics are compiled and explained in detail, with end notes and a works cited section, in THE BOOK Call of the Active Mind.

Call of the Active Mind, ©Copyright Robert Rose-Coutré 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016

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