Americans Watch A Lot Of TV And It Leads To Poorer Eating And Living Habits

Sep 16, 2014 by

Americans Watch A Lot Of TV And It Leads To Poorer Eating And Living Habits

Are you addicted to the sights and sounds of the television set? Are you watching more hours of TV than you plan to?

Too much TV is probably harming your health, in particular leading to overeating and weight gain.


Here are some facts obtained from the non-profit organization, TV-Turnoff Network, back in 2008:

• Americans watch TV on average about 4 hours each day

• The TV is turned on for almost 8 hours every day in the average American home

• 2 out of every 5 Americans often or always watch TV while having dinner

• 1 out of every 2 US homes have at least 3 TV sets

• The average American youth spends more hours per year watching TV than in school – over 1,000 hours versus about 900 hours

• By the age of 65, the average American would have seen some 2 million commercials on TV


Here are some ways the organization suggests excessive TV watching can lead to over-eating, weight gain and other unhealthy habits.

• Snacking or having meals while watching TV leads to dissatisfaction and overeating. While you are distracted by the TV, you won’t be mindful of the food you are consuming. This reduces enjoyment. Furthermore, you won’t be aware of sensations of feeling full, and this raises the tendency to overeat. Indeed, a 2008 study at the University of Toronto in Canada found that children who watched TV while having their lunch consumed on average 228 more calories than those who didn’t.

• In fact, watching TV itself encourages more snacking while slouched on the couch.

• More TV time means more exposure to TV commercials promoting fast foods, junk foods, sodas, alcohol and other sugary foods. This translates into more desire for such unhealthy foods and, in all likelihood, higher consumption of these foods too.

• The more time spent in front of the TV, the less time there is for physical activities such as sports, outdoor hobbies, yard work, or walking the dog. This leads to poorer health and larger waistlines.

• What’s more, having the TV switched on for longer hours also denies time for other more wholesome and productive activities, such as quality family interaction, reading, schoolwork, etc.


Many of the above pointers also apply to computers, tablet PCs and phones. If you wish to implement a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family, it’s time to reduce the number of hours the TV (or TVs) is switched on in your home.

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