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Is Your TV Killing You?

Is Your TV Killing You?

Binge-watching shows like House of Cards or Parks and Recreation may seem like a fun way to spend your time. But TV viewing can come at a price—to your health. A study followed 13,000 adults for an average of eight years and found that watching television for three or more hours a day doubles your risk of premature death compared to folks who watch 60 minutes or less. Are you at risk?

Keep track of your daily viewing for one week and write down what you eat while you’re watching TV (some folks find 40 percent of daily calories come from snack—even healthy ones can add excess calories and extra weight). And observe (your note pad is right there) your reaction to shows you watch. Feel stressed or anxious afterwards? That could increase snacking during commercials, putting more strain on body and soul.

Here’s how you can re-allocate your TV-viewing time. Change your lifestyle channel to: a body-loving, mind-freeing walking routine (aiming for 10,000 steps a day); a clean-sweep, kitchen-relief plan that banishes the Five Food Felons from the house (no added sugars or syrups, eliminate all trans and almost all saturated fat and any grain that isn’t 100 percent whole); and a soul-reviving meditation or deep breathing habit—for 10 to 20 minutes daily. You’ll have a younger RealAge and a better view of your future!

Medically reviewed in May 2019.

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