8 Effects of Watching Too Much TV

Effects of Watching Too Much TV – Watching TV is a time for rest that many people look forward to. But unfortunately, these activities turn out to have long-term adverse effects according to three new studies.

The study found that people who watched TV moderately to frequently experienced a higher cognitive decline in their 40s and early 60s. In addition, the volume of gray matter in the brain was lower in the 70s to 80s compared to people who watched a very little TV in middle age. Gray matter is associated with many brain functions, such as muscle control, vision, hearing, and decision making. Large gray matter volume means better cognitive skills, reports Live Science.

8 Effects of Watching Too Much TV

1. It may expand your waistline

Evidence has shown that adults are more likely to gain weight and even become obese, the more they watch television. Most people think that it’s sitting around that makes you gain weight. And although part of this is true, most of the impact is because of all the marketing and advertising during commercials that increases one’s likelihood of consuming unhealthy food products.

Several studies have found that food-related shows might have a greater influence on how many calories a person can take. Researchers conducted a study with people who at random were asked to watch cooking shows or nature shows, after which they were presented with carrots, cheese curls, and chocolate-covered candies. The researchers found that those who watched a TV show related to cooking ate a significant amount of chocolate, even after factors like food preferences and hunger were taken into account. And with the rise of so many cooking shows, this certainly doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s really hard to focus on calories content when a close-up of a mouth-watering dish is plastered on the screen.

So watching TV probably does increase the chances of consuming those extra calories. But this can be better understood by figuring out how it is that cooking shows have a greater influence than other programs like sports shows and telenovelas. It’s advisable to be mindful when eating to better control the amount of food you take. When you’re eating, turn off the TV and avoid using your phone. And by removing With all these distractions, you’re able to pay attention to the meal in front of you.

2. It increases chances of getting diabetes

Research done on people who are at a higher risk of developing diabetes found that every hour in a day spent watching TV, the risk of developing diabetes increased by 3.4%. In the study, viewing was tracked as an indicator of the time that people spent sitting, rather than what the participants watched. Other research suggests that we move less while watching as compared to other sedentary activities like sitting in the office. During the three-year study, participants completed questionnaires and reported the amount of time spent sitting in front of the TV or at work.

In a study conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program, more than 3,200 overweight adults from the US participated. The program was successful in using lifestyle intervention to help them reduce the risk of getting diabetes. Limiting periods of inactivity is known to be vital for good health and findings from the studies suggested that an increase in physical activity as well as limiting sedentary time are important aspects of reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. A conclusion was made that spending less time watching TV reduces the risk of developing diabetes significantly.

3. It could ruin your relationships

Although most of us are smart enough to understand the difference between TV and reality,
not everyone can. Even though we know that many of the relationships on TV are romanticized and idealized, we in a way prefer the notion of passion and romance to the more rational relationships we’re in that we tolerate in real life. Research published in the Mass Communication and Society Journal years ago showed that the more you believe in the popular portrayals of romance on television, the less committed you are to your real relationship. And this ranges from having unrealistic expectations of your partner to seeing just how much being in that relationship is costing you in terms of less time or freedom, which could undermine what’s happening between you in real life.

One study, in particular, explored the role that television has in shaping the attitudes of the viewers, towards marriage and found that those who watched TV a lot are more likely to have negative views towards it. The researchers came up with the theory that since there were very few portrayals of happy marriages on the screen, viewers may have begun to question marriage as a way of life.

Another study found that university students who watched the most reality dating programs had a higher likelihood to express negative attitudes toward dating and embrace stereotypes about dating and relationships.

Studies seem to form a link between many hours watching television and unrealistic expectations about romantic, professional, and family relationships, especially for those viewers who don’t have a lot of real-world experiences. Stopping short of establishing cause and effect, researchers use terms like correlation and association relationships.
In other words, although one doesn’t automatically lead to the other, they are indeed related.

4. It could slow the language development of a child

Children learn how to talk and communicate through interactions with others. The first years of their lives are crucial for their language development. It’s during this period when their brain is more receptive to learning a new language and building communications that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. So when this window closes, learning and developing language becomes more difficult. That’s probably why a lot of adults find it difficult to learn a new language.

So every minute your child spends watching TV or playing video games, the less time they’re interacting with other people. Americans begin to tune in to the television at an early age, and even other media as kids nowadays can play with tablets and smartphones.
While using the phone to chat with loved ones over face time or skype is okay for the young lads, TV can be pretty bad for them.

The chair of the American Academy of Paediatrics Council on Communication and Media said that television exposure before the age of two is strongly correlated with decreased language development, and parents are advised not to have the TV on to entertain children who are this young. Researchers found in one study that kids who began to watch TV before their first birthday and watched more than two hours in a day were six times more likely to have delays in developing language skills. They could begin to talk late or have problems with language at school later on. Their chances of getting low communication scores also increased.

Prolonged use of screen time has also been linked to attention problems, short-term memory, and reading problems. All of which can play into your child’s ability to learn the language as well.

5. It could lead to aggressive tendencies

Television can be a very influential thing in developing values and shaping a person’s behavior. A lot of today’s programs are violent, and studies have found that violence on TV has effects on children and teenagers alike, most likely because kids tend to internalize cues from what they see on TV or video games. Children with behavioral, emotional, learning, or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence.

The impact this has can be observed immediately in the child’s behavior or years later. Kids can be affected even when the atmosphere at home isn’t violent. It’s possible that they could become numb to the horror of violence or begin to accept violence as a way of solving problems. They could imitate the violence they see on TV or even identify with certain characters, victims, and/or victimizers. A certain author wrote in his book that the relationship between violent media use and aggression and decentralization to violence is as strong as or even stronger than the relationship smoking has with lung cancer.

Of course, not all children are affected in the same way, but exposure to violence in media makes kids more likely to accept it in their daily lives. The number of time children spend watching television, regardless of the content, should be moderated because it lessens the time that could be spent doing activities that benefit them more such as reading, developing hobbies, and playing with friends.

6. It’s isolating

Recent research found that feelings of loneliness and depression were linked to watching television. Although the research didn’t conclude that watching TV causes the issues, one of the researchers said that binge-watching shouldn’t be seen as a harmless addiction. Other experts said that an increase in the use of electronics can further isolate individuals or promote antisocial behavior.

Children begin to form friendships from an early age, and the success in making friends has substantial long-lasting effects on their social adjustment and overall mental well-being. Failing in these relationships increases the risk for social isolation, anxiety disorder, antisocial behavior, and so on. And for some reason watching TV, which is frequently tagged as a cause of social isolation, is usually overlooked as a potential contributor to problems forming friendships. Interacting with peers gives children the ability to develop social skills and build relationships.

Studies on the relationship between television and social interactions are minimal, and the findings mixed, with some suggesting that a relationship between the two was not found, while others found that the more time children spend watching TV, the less time they spend with their families.

7. It interferes with our normal sleep pattern

Screen time can make it hard to unwind, cutting into a much-needed sleep. It’s common practice for a lot of people to watch TV to help them relax and unwind after a stressful day. And as relaxing as it can be, this habit can do more harm than good. A lot of the studies that have emerged recently show that too much screen viewing, especially moments before bed, can impact the quality of sleep negatively.

Watching TV late into the night usually disrupts your internal clock. The artificial light you’re exposed to in the evening can also disrupt your melatonin levels and circadian rhythm. It also keeps you up longer and programs that keep your brain alert, prevent you from sleeping.

Frequent disruptions in your sleep may lead to poor cognitive performance during the day. Of course, not all TV viewing habits present the same risks, but you’re less likely to suffer the negative impact if the TV is switched off before heading to bed than when you fall asleep when it’s still on. Children can also suffer the same fate. With the emerging culture of kids having easy access to electronic devices, it’s only natural for parents to worry about the effects they may have on the young ones when they watch before bedtime.

More screen time is associated with a delay in going to bed and a decrease in the amount of sleep time. Kids who have televisions in their rooms are more likely to watch it later into the night, sleepless, and have poor quality sleep. So you’d be doing your child a great favor by removing the TV from their room entirely, and taking away any other gadgets before going to bed.

8. It has the potential to shorten our lifespan

A study focusing on healthy young adults found that watching too much television is linked to premature death. The study which was published in the Journal of American Heart Association found that those who reported watching three hours of TV or more a day doubled their chances of dying during the eight-year follow-up period, compared to those who said they didn’t watch more than an hour a day. One of the first studies to look at the loss of life associated with sedentary activity suggested that watching TV for six hours or more in a day could shorten the average life expectancy by close to five years.

One researcher, in particular, said that TV viewing time may have dire health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, smoking, and obesity. He stated that every hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as twenty-two minutes. Doesn’t seem like much but when you do the math, the result may shock you. Past research has already linked sedentary behavior with a higher risk of death, especially from a stroke or heart attack. So if you watch too much TV, your days on this earth might just be a little less than you have thought.

RELATED: 12 Bad Habits That Keep You Poor


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