‘Binge-watching’ TV not good for the waistline

Sitting glued to the TV for hours at a time – or “binge-watching” – appears to encourage overeating and obesity, according to Lilian Cheung, lecturer and director, health promotion and communication for the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and author of Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life.

“There’s convincing evidence in adults that the more television they watch, the more likely they are to gain weight or become overweight or obese,” Cheung said in a December 31, 2015 NPR’s The Salt article. What’s more, she said, TV viewing can promote poor eating choices due to frequent exposure to advertisements for unhealthy food and beverages.

To better control of food intake, she suggested practicing mindful eating. “When eating, only eat. Turn off the television [and] computer, and put the cellphone away to refrain from checking messages. By removing these distractions, you can bring your full attention to the food in front of you, going beyond just taste and engaging all senses — including sight, smell, texture and the sound your food makes.”

Read the NPR article: Netflix And Chew: How Binge Watching Affects Our Eating Habits

Learn more

‘Binge-watching’ TV may be harmful to health

Television watching and “sit time” (HSPH’s Obesity Prevention Source)

Prolonged television viewing linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death (HSPH press release)

TV couch potatoes may be heading for early deaths, report says (HSPH’s The Nutrition Source)