TV addicts are shortening their lifespans by watching too much TV, according to researchers in Australia, reports HealthDay.
People who averaged six hours a day of TV viewing lived nearly five years less, on average, than people who watched no TV, according to research led by Dr. J. Lennert Veerman of the University of Queensland.
Other experts pointed out that the study found only an association between watching a lot of TV and a shorter life, not that TV watching causes people to die earlier.
"As a rule, the more time we spend watching TV, the more time we spend eating mindlessly in front of the TV, and the less time we spend being physically active," pointed out Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "More eating and less physical activity, in turn, mean greater risk for obesity, and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer."
The study, which was published in the Aug. 15 online edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, tracked data on 11,000 people over 25 years of age from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, the story notes. That study included survey information about how much TV people watched each week.
The researchers said the statistics indicate that too much TV may be as risky as smoking and lack of exercise in cutting down life expectancy, the article notes.