Turn off the Tube - By Alison Greiner

Turn off the Tube - By Alison Greiner
Does your daily to-do list consist of catching the new Friends episode, The Bachelor, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and all The Simpsons episodes after playing the latest and greatest video game? Would you reconsider this if you knew staying glued to the tube may put you at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes?

A study on the physical effects of television viewing sheds new light on the reasons to decrease time spent in front of the television. The growing number of negative, non-educational commercials and concepts taught on the tube is, in itself, a good reason to increase physical activity, reading and time spent with the family; but the staggering results of a study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School provide more compelling reasons to put down the remote.

TV and Obesity Connected
The study, conducted over a six-year period with more than 50,000 women, concluded that prolonged periods of television watching combined with inactive behaviors increase your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Sixty-one percent of Americans are overweight and 27% are clinically obese. Harvard scientists speculate that the increasingly sedentary American lifestyle, especially prolonged TV watching, may be a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic in the United States.

Childhood Obesity on the Rise
While the number of obese adults is on the rise, the number of overweight and obese children is also staggering and doomed to increase. It is estimated that one in every five children in the United States is obese. Two of the major contributing factors to the mounting numbers of obese children are increased consumption of poor-quality food and a decrease in daily physical activity. A sixteen-year study of children aged eight through sixteen years concluded that 26% of American children watched four or more hours of television per day and 67% watched at least two hours per day. Higher levels of body fat and body mass were found in the children who watched more hours of television per day than those who watched less than two hours per day.

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat, but you are also what you do. The rate of childhood obesity doubled from 1981 to 1996 in children aged seven to thirteen years. Technological advancements have introduced countless multimedia activities to lure us away from soccer fields, biking paths and the outdoors to gather in front of screens of all sorts. Get your children active by following the Truestar Fitness for Kids programs.

Fight the Temptation!
The temptations to keep you comfortable on your couch are countless: soap operas, game shows, reality television, news, cartoons, movies, video games and much more. It is definitely very entertaining to watch these programs, but consider the physical and mental nourishment you could be feeding your body instead of the popcorn, chips and other high calorie snacks that tend to go hand-in-hand with television viewing. See Truestar Meal Plans for healthier snack options. It is well worth it to switch off the television and turn on to better health and a longer life.

The Truestar Daily Success Habit number eleven recommends that you decrease television time not only for mental and spiritual reasons, but also for the positive impact it will have on your life by freeing up time to exercise, read, listen to motivational audio and build winning relationships with your family, friends and neighbors.


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