Mama and papa are engrossed in watching their favorite reality program, the son spends time watching his favorite Doremon and his sister is obsessed with Dora. Four members in the family sit in the house in three different rooms watching their favorite TV episodes. Gone are the days when books were a man’s best friend and now are those days when ‘any electronic gadget’ is a man’s best friend. ‘Couch potato’ is not an apt word but the finest phrase to define someone binge-watching TV series, movies or more. Its unimaginable without a television nowadays in our homes and people go mad when the network is interrupted for a few hours in between. Parents punish their kids with a no-TV day sometimes. Some schools accept only students from those homes that don’t have a TV set and am sure most of us would never even keep a foot forward into these schools forever in our lives. In fact, there are people spending lakhs of money on a smart TV rather than upgrading themselves to become smarter in life. Its almost a silver jubilee for the obesity-TV link where a Harvard research associated TV watching to obesity 25 years ago. Since then there have been numerous research and positive associations between watching television and rising obesity rates.
The Glitzy Media & its Ugly Outcomes
What values we instill, habits we teach and activities we preach to our kids shape their growth as adults. There have been quite a many number of researches that show that more the time a child watches television greater is the risk of obesity. The risk is even higher when the child has a TV installed in his/her bedroom. Restricting a child’s viewing time to not more than 2 hours a day has been helpful in improving body mass index (BMI), body fat and other obesity-related measures. Such restrictions take time and need cooperation from parents, school and the child himself/herself. It might be anything such as setting a few timings dedicated to watching television, schools insisting on the importance of a no-TV meal where food is eaten together at the table rather than watching television and likewise.
The impact of television is the same on adults too-more the number of TV viewing hours likelier is the adult to gain weight. There are evidences even showing that watching too much television increases the risk of weight-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or even early death. Its not a sin to watch television but why don’t you involve yourself in some physical activity while enjoying the program and restrict your viewing to a limited time every day?
Food Marketing Gimmicks that Grab your Attention
Apart from sitting down and staying inactive while watching TV, the act of watching can promote obesity in various other ways too in the form of limiting time for physical activity, paving way for eating junk foods while watching some show, advertising unhealthy diets and even hindering sleep hours. People tend to eat diets high in calories and poor in health. Main ways in which the foods and beverages marketed on television affect individuals include:
Playing video games, surfing the Internet, driving or sitting to work are also sedentary behaviors whose effects are not much known as these are not extensively studied as that of TV viewing. But evidences do exist that these habits also contribute greatly toward obesity.
Evidences do exist that sitting at office/home increases the risk of becoming obese and also increases the risk of chronic death. Sitting prevents a person from being active but the confusion here is whether sitting as a standalone activity increases the risk of obesity or whether sitting just paves way for another unhealthy lifestyle routine such as watching TV or playing video games. Working on the computer continuously might lead to stress which in turn can result in overeating whereas listening to music distracts people from noticing whether they are hungry or full. Dealing with stress is easier when you are aware of the different tactics available to uproot it. Meditation and yoga are common ways to deal with stress but there are a number of other different ways mentioned at www.firsteatright.com that can help you offboard stress easily and onboard happiness.
Switch Off Electronic Devices, Switch On Activity Routines
Studies have time and again showed that sitting and watching TV is an important risk factor for obesity which can be overcome in the following ways:
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