Television and Obesity: The Surprising Truth About Couch Potatoes

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

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

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.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.