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Increasing waistline? Blame TV ads for that

According to the study, teens who watch TV without ads are less likely to snack on junk food items.

  • Published: January 16, 2018 2:05 PM IST
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Being a couch potato has its side effects, the biggest being obesity. However, a recent study states that binge-watching television shows is not the only reason for putting on weight. It has got to do with something which we consume quite absent-mindedly. Not the chips, but the advertisement about the chips.

According to the study conducted by the Cancer Research UK, those watching over three hours of television in a day are more likely to eat hundreds of additional snacks per year, which lead to excess fat. The reason for this increase in waistline is not the sedentary behavior but the advertisements.

For the study, the researchers questioned 3,348 young people between the ages of 11 and 19 on their TV viewing habits and diets. It was discovered that when youngsters watched TV without advertisements, they snacked on healthier food items, while those who watched commercials-heavy primetime TV were 139 percent more likely – more than twice – to drink soft drinks and 65 percent more likely to consume fast food, The Next Web reports.

Lead author of the study, Dr Jyostna Vhora, says, “This is the strongest evidence yet that junk food adverts could increase how much teens choose to eat. We’re not claiming that every teenager who watches commercial TV will gorge on junk food but this research suggests there is a strong association between advertisements and eating habits.”

This study and similar observations are the reason why services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar are gaining popularity; not only for the ad-free experience they deliver but perhaps also for the fat-free lifestyle they promote.

  • Published Date: January 16, 2018 2:05 PM IST