Watching TV Probably Won't Kill You


The idiot box isn't a mortal threat, at least in the medium term, according to a new study by a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study looked at adults over the age of 20, all of whom were participants in the more comprehensive National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2002. 7,350 of those participants were then selected for further study, and were asked about the their screen time, including television, videos, and computer usage, through 2006. The result? Increased screen time did not correlate with increased mortality; in fact, those who sat in front of the screen for four or five hours a day actually showed a lower mortality rate than those who watch one or two hours a day (though this doesn't suggest that watching more TV is safer). The study cautions that the mortality effects of sedentary viewing remain somewhat uncertain, but conclude that within their sample, "screen time did not significantly predict mortality from all-causes and diseases of the circulatory system." So tune in and turn on—you'll probably be fine. (Link via Aaron Carroll.) 

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  1. Just in time to partly save the reputation of a dying medium!

    1. Well, I think most people still use the TV itself from time to time; they just probably don’t watch broadcast programming. Even after I dropped cable, I still use the TV for Netflix and gaming.

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  2. “Watching TV Probably Won’t Kill You”

    No, but it will provide you with biased “news”.

  3. correlation =/= causation

    TV might not cause you to die, but it probably causes your brain to turn to mush.

    1. If you do it right there is some informative stuff on TV. You really have to work to find it though.

      1. At least the Science Channel keeps running those “How It’s Made” marathons every now and then.

  4. “The idiot box isn’t a mortal threat, at least in the medium term”

    But what about the long run?

  5. The result? Increased screen time did not correlate with increased mortality

    Imagine my surprise.

  6. brought to you by the Center For Whatever We Feel Like Doing.

    1. Yeah, no shit. I think all these studies informing me of where my hard earned tax dollars are going are probably going to shorten my life.

  7. “Watching TV Probably Won’t Kill You”

    No but watching Fox news tell us how only Fig Newton and Mittens stand a chance of getting elected just might drive you to commit murder.

  8. If your kid is watching TV he isn’t driving home drunk from a party or about to ski into a tree.

  9. It will if you watch too many Miami Vice reruns.

  10. Good news, because I just signed up for Netflix streaming. I spent a good chunk of time yesterday watching Lie to Me (I never noticed how much progressive/elitist/Swedish Model bullshit is in that show, but it’s still entertaining).

    Only problem is they don’t have enough plane crash shows on there. The only one I could find was a NOVA episode on Air France 447. Fascinating.

  11. Which emits more deadly radiation, plasma or LCD?

  12. L-I-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N-S!

  13. Why does that “Death by Television” poster have a movie projector on it?

    1. It’s a real to reel audio tape machine. But that still doesn’t make any sense.

      1. the reel-2-reel is hypnotizing him to go watch tv. it’s a gateway medium.

  14. At least the Science Channel keeps running those “How It’s Made” marathons every now and then.

    Funded by commercials for bullshit 9/11 TRAAAAAGEDEEEEEEZ kitsch memorabilia.

    Fuck them.

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