Cutting TV Time Improves Calorie Balance
Turning off the TV might help you lose weight—but only a little, reports the first study to measure the effects of a TV reduction intervention in adults. Researchers spent three weeks observing the viewing habits of 36 volunteers, all overweight or obese. Then 20 randomly selected participants had their TVs fitted with a device that shut off the screen after they’d reached a weekly limit of half their previous viewing time. The other 16 served as a control group, watching all the TV they wanted. After a three-week study period, those forced to halve their TV viewing burned 119 more calories per day than during the observation period and also consumed fewer calories, for a net negative of 244 calories per day. The control group actually added 57 net calories per day. But these changes did not reach statistical significance, research ers wrote in Archives of Internal Medicine, adding that more study is needed of reduced TV viewing as a method to reduce and even prevent adult obesity.