Television and Obesity: The Surprising Truth About Couch Potatoes

It's not the couch that's the problem.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
February 14, 2012

It’s not surprising that people who watch more television tend to gain weight over time. Watching television or playing computer games is an extremely sedentary activity— which is why one of my key tips for preventing childhood obesity is to set limits on screen-time.

But it turns out that it's not the couch that's the problem; it's the potato (chips).

Researchers have found that reducing television time reduces weight gain--but not because it increases physical activity. Rather, it's because turning off the TV improves eating habits.

Sitting in front of the TV or computer invites mindless snacking. And the endless ads for snack and junk foods prime us to eat more of those foods even when we're not in front of the screen. So, in addition to setting limits on how much time you and the kids spend in front of the TV, I strongly recommend making the TV room a no snacking zone.

See more tips on How to Lose Weight Without Dieting.


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