watchers, you may want to hit the pause button for this:
watching TV has been linked to more belly fat — even for
people who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
every hour and a half spent watching TV, abdominal fat
increased by about 3 cubic centimeters, according to a study
from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Abdominal fat is a concern because it is a risk factor for
diabetes and heart disease.
looked at belly fat levels in more than 3,000 middle-aged men
and women. They asked them how much time they spent doing six
different sedentary behaviors — reading a book, using a
computer, talking or texting on the phone, sitting in a car,
doing paper work, and watching television — to see what, if
any, effect the activity had on abdominal fat levels.
was the only sedentary behavior out of those six that was
associated with belly fat," said Kara Whitaker, the study’s
more surprising: when the researchers examined all of the
sedentary behaviors combined, the association between
abdominal fat was not as strong as it was with only TV
watching, Whitaker said.
really television time that seems to be driving this
association with belly fat," she said.
results were published in the latest issue of the journal,
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
possible explanation for the study’s findings is that TV got
more of the blame. Because people remember which shows they
watched, they are better at recalling their TV viewing time
compared with other activities, Whitaker said.
also may play a role. "Seeing those ads showing food can
prime you to eat more later, which could affect your abdominal
fat levels," Whitaker said.
down on TV screen time, she advised. And when you are
watching, don’t just sit there. Hop on an exercise bike
during the show or at least get up and move around during
mom marches in place while she’s watching TV," Whitaker