Reducing TV time helps adults burn more calories, study finds
According to a new study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine revealed that overweight people who spend less time before television can help burn calories. The study is published in the December 14/28 issue of Achieves of Internal Medicine one of the JAMA/Achieves Journals. During the course of the study, an electronic lock-out system was engaged in an effort to reduce the time spent before the television to half without changing the calorie intake of those adults who watched television for five hours. The results of the study revealed that during this period more energy was exhausted throughout the three-week study period. The study highlighted on how time spent watching television affects calorie intake, energy used, and time spent on sleeping, and activity in obese and obese adults. Before this study various random studies had focused on modifying diet and physical activities only in an effort to reduce the obesity. But this study has adopted new strategies by inclusion of sedentary behaviors like watching television.
According to Jennifer Otten, PhD, postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and lead author of the study, conducted at the University of Vermont, “reducing the time spent watching television has the potential to improve a person’s activity levels.” On an average, an American adult watch around five hours watching television in a day, the third most time-consuming activity after work and sleep. A good amount of time spent watching the television programs could result in wide array of conditions like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Otten added.
The study involved 36 adults who weighed above the healthy range; watched the television for five hours daily. After the three observation weeks half of the participants watched 50 percent less television for three weeks, after the last week period, participants answered surveys about their diet. The group who watched 50 percent less television but didn’t reduce the calorie intake burnt 120 more calories as compared to the first group who watched television for five hours at a stretch. Otten informed, “The energy burned is equivalent to walking more than a mile. We don’t know how the short term changes will take into effect, but during longer term study, it could prevent the weight gain”. While Tom Robinson, MD, the Irving Schulman Endowed Professor in Child Health at Stanford’s School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study but has conducted TV studies in children said, “We are aware that as far as children were concerned one of the most valuable ways to prevent weight gain is to reducing time spent before television, so it is great to see the study like this involving adults.” The researchers concluded reducing television viewing ought to be further investigated as a method to reduce and avert obesity in adults.
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