TV binge­ing linked to in­creased risk of in­flam­ma­tory dis­eases

The Advertiser - - ISSUES - BRIGID O’CONNELL

THIS is bad news for TV bingers.

Ev­ery hour you spend sit­ting watch­ing TV makes you more likely to die from in­flam­ma­tory-re­lated dis­eases, Mel­bourne re­searchers have found.

And it’s not just those watch­ing more than four hour­long episodes in a row at risk.

Baker Heart and Di­a­betes In­sti­tute re­searchers have found that even mod­er­ate view­ing of be­tween two and four hours daily was risky, with very ex­tra hour of seated TV view­ing per day as­so­ci­ated with a 12 per cent higher risk of in­flam­ma­tion-re­lated death.

Re­searchers an­a­lysed the life­styles, hours of daily TV view­ing, in­flam­ma­tory mark­ers, and causes of death of 9000 adults, who were fol­lowed up 13 years after first tak­ing part in the Aus­tralian Di­a­betes, Obe­sity and Life­style Study.

After ex­clud­ing can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar-re­lated deaths, they found that ev­ery ex­tra hour of TV time in­creased the risk of in­flam­ma­tory-re­lated death. The risk was sim­i­lar, but smaller, in non-smok­ers among the co­hort.

Lead author and se­nior re­searcher at Baker’s phys­i­cal ac- tiv­ity re­search unit, Dr Megan Grace, said there was grow­ing ev­i­dence link­ing seden­tary be­hav­iour like TV watch­ing to in­flam­ma­tion.

“We know sit­ting in­volves re­duced mus­cle ac­tiv­ity, and there­fore re­duced blood flow. We think this stag­na­tion in the blood ves­sels may be lead­ing to an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of in­flam­ma­tory mark­ers in the blood and mus­cles,” Dr Grace said.

“We think this long-term low-level in­flam­ma­tion is ac­tu­ally caus­ing dam­ages to tis­sues that lead to dis­eases like di­a­betes, lung dis­eases and cog­ni­tive dis­or­ders like Alzheimer’s and Parkin­son’s.”

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