It linked long spells in front of the TV to habits like smoking, drinking and bad diet as well a higher threat of heart disease.
Those at the greatest risk live in poorer areas, according to data from nearly 329000 people. The research by the University of Glasgow examined the health of people aged 40 to 69, checking how many watched television for four hours or more a day. Such viewers were highly likely to be watching daytime or late-night TV.
Those with the most healthy lifestyles viewed their set for 2.2 hours a day, while 2.9 hours was moderately healthy.
Other factors were taken into account such as obesity, physical activity, smoking, drinking and diet. But the study in The Lancet Public Health journal said TV viewing time and sleep duration were “emerging risk factors” in assessing lifestyles. Although deprived groups “are likely to experience disproportionate harm from unhealthy lifestyles”, death rates could be cut, it added.
“Lifestyle scores show a high proportion of deaths are due to modifiable factors and are therefore avoidable, highlighting new targets for public health intervention,” concluded the researchers.Daily Mail