Study Shows Too Much TV Really is Bad for You

06/16/2009 - News

Study Shows Too Much TV Really is Bad for You

By: June Chen, MD

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Did your mother tell you that television was bad for you? It turns out she may have been right, but not for the reasons you might except.

According to a study published in the February 2009 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, excess television exposure in teenagers is linked to an increased risk for depressive symptoms in early adulthood, especially in young men.

Did your mother tell you that television was bad for you? It turns out she may have been right, but not for the reasons you might except. According to a study published in the February 2009 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, excess television exposure in teenagers is linked to an increased risk for depressive symptoms in early adulthood, especially in young men .

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and their colleagues analyzed information about media usage among 4142 adolescents who were not depressed at baseline in order to investigate the subsequent development of depression. Although the researchers did not find any relationship between depression and previous exposure to computer games or radio, they did find that adolescents, especially young men, who reported more television use had significantly greater odds of developing depression. Each extra hour of television exposure per day was associated with an 8% increase in the odds of developing depressive symptoms.

Other studies have linked large amounts of media exposure to major health issues, such as substance use, obesity, and aggression. Now, it seems that television exposure may increase the risk of developing depressive symptoms. Given the health concerns linked to media exposure, health care providers may want to ask their patients about their media usage.

Source

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66:181-188.

Created on: 02/11/2009
Reviewed on: 06/16/2009

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