TVs and computers linked with obesity and diabetes

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A new study shows increased rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in lower and middle income countries were associated with ownership of televisions, cars, and computers.

A team of international researchers examined statistics on more than 150,000 adults in nearly 108,000 households from 17 countries enrolled in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study. The participants’ weight and height were measured. They were asked about their diets, physical activity, sitting time, whether they owned a television, computer, or car, and if they had diabetes. The results showed that televisions were the most common device owned by households: 78 percent of households owned at least one TV, 34 percent owned a computer, and 32 percent owned a car.

“With increasing uptake of modern-day conveniences – TVs, cars, computers – low and middle income countries could see the same obesity and diabetes rates as in high income countries that are the result of too much sitting, less physical activity and increased consumption of calories,” lead author Dr. Scott Lear was quoted as saying. “This can lead to potentially devastating societal health care consequences in these countries.”

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