Couch Potatoes Risk Abnormal Glucose Levels

Australian researchers say that watching television excessively can increase the risk of abnormal glucose metabolism in adults.

A total of 8,299 adults aged 25 years or older were studied. Self-reported physical activity time and TV time the previous week were assessed using interviewer-administered questionnaires.

The odds ratios of abnormal glucose metabolism were 1.16 in men and 1.49 in women who watched more than 14 hours of television per week compared with those who watched only seven hours weekly.

“Higher TV viewing was also associated with an increased risk of new type 2 diabetes in men and women and impaired glucose tolerance in women, compared with those watching less than 14 hours per week,” write the researchers.

Total weekly physical activity of 2.5 hours was associated with a reduced risk of impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance and new cases of type 2 in both sexes.

“Population strategies to reduce risk of abnormal glucose metabolism should focus on reducing sedentary behaviors such as TV time as well as increasing physical activity,” the researchers say.

Diabetes Care, November 2004

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