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Warning: Your favourite series could cause type 2 diabetes

by , 08 October 2014

If the first thing you do when you get home is plop down in front of the TV, listen up. You could be heading straight down the path to a future of type 2 diabetes, says a study.

Even sitting in front of the TV for two hours every day increases your diabetes risk 20%, say researchers who recently published their results in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Here's what they found…

Young or old, healthy or not, your risk of diabetes shoots up when you watch too much TV

One of the most important points of the research findings was that it doesn’t matter at what stage you are in your life, you’re at risk of type 2 diabetes if you sit around watching TV instead of getting up and moving about.
Even if you’re young and healthy, you’re not immune to type 2 diabetes, says Dr Frank Hu, one of the lead authors of the study.
Dr Hu and other researchers form Harvard University collected data from other significant studies done on the link between a sedentary lifestyle and type 2 diabetes. They concluded that watching TV for hours on end is a major risk factor of type 2 diabetes.
Dr Stephen Kopecky, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic – who wasn’t part of the study – says the results of the study are important. Not only do they show sitting in from of the TV is as bad for you as a poor diet and smoking, but that it’s essential to see it as a risk factor for disease and address it!
But it’s not just the fact you’re sitting on the couch that’s leading you to a diabetic future…
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Your calorie intake shoots up when you sit in front of the TV

There have been a lot of studies on the risks of TV watching and calorie intake.
Not only is it easy to eat double or triple your daily requirements in one sitting while you’re engrossed in a programme or movie, your choice of food is usually poorer when you sit in front of the TV.
Think about it, you’re not likely to choose a bowl of broccoli over a bag of peanuts when you’re snacking in front of the TV, are you?
And because you eat junk food, sweets and chips – almost mindlessly – when you watch, your risk of diabetes shoots up another two-fold.
One, the sugar is detrimental to your health and two, as your weight increases, so does your diabetes risk.
But it’s within your control to keep diabetes out of your life!
Here’s how…
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Make the right lifestyle and food choices to stay diabetes-free

There’s a combination of changes you can make, but making them all at once can leave you feeling deprived and you’ll go back to your old ways in no time.
That’s why we suggest you make a series of small changes so you can change your habits so they stick.
Choose one of these habits to change every week until you’ve checked them all off the list:
1.    Watch only one of your favourite programmes when you get home from work. Record the others and only watch one a day;
2.    While the sun is still up in the evenings, go to gym, do some work in the garden or walk the dogs. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s on your feet;
3.    Eat a healthy snack while you watch TV. Eat chopped vegetables, pieces of fruit with unsweetened yoghurt or a handful of almonds; and
4.    Find a hobby you can take part in on the weekend that’ll get you outdoors and your heart racing!
There’s so much more you can do with your time! Far better things than sitting in front of the TV eating unhealthy foods.
Sitting less and doing more is not only great for your waistline, it’s essential for your overall health and your ability to prevent type 2 diabetes. 

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