Television is a great distraction, but it may be harmful to your health and well-being. There have been many studies of the disastrous effect of TV on youths, but adults may suffer similar consequences if they spend too much gazing at the tube. From tangible dangers like weight gain, to the less obvious problems associated with an increased acceptance of societal violence and a warped body image, TV could literally be killing you.
We can all agree that there is a great deal of violence on television. From cop shows and soap operas to the local news, most adult TV viewers are receiving a significant dose of violence. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost two out of three television shows contain violence. While it's difficult to observe a specific cause and effect relationship to television violence causing real violence, some studies have found a direct relationship to media violence and a subject's increased acceptance of rape, domestic abuse and abusing alcohol.
Television Dependance Has an Hourly Cost
In an average American home, the television is on for almost seven hours each day. Individuals watch, on average, four hours per day of programming. The sheer amount of time you spend gazing at the TV is taking you away from other beneficial activities. Rather than using that time to go back to school, spend time with family or engage in a healthy activity like exercise, adults are parked on the sofa, remote control in hand. TV is a time sink.
Hours of watching television gives you ample opportunities to see some beautiful bodies. However, these beautiful bodies differ significantly from the average adult you're likely to see in real life. According to Drs. Jennifer L. Derenne and Eugene V. Beresin, in a study published on Academic Psychiatry, excessive viewing of television may lead to both obesity and eating disorders. Women are particularly at risk. TV sets an ideal body image that many cannot attain. They are bombarded by images of unattainable beauty. This can lead to severely disordered eating.
According to an article published by "The Guardian," studies show that eating in front of the TV makes you eat more. The fact that your attention is not on your food -- yet on the television -- is thought to be the reason that many people who eat while viewing TV will snack more afterward. Also, commercial most often advertise unhealthy fare like cereals high in sugar, fast food and sodas. Although we are unaware, a study by John Bargh, an expert on priming behaviors, suggested we will eat more if we see commercials for junk food.
Based in San Francisco, Robyn Green has been writing since 1998. Her work has been featured in online outlets and several books. Green studied history at Georgia Southern University.