by Melanie Grimes
Television watching increases diabetes risk, scientists have now confirmed. By studying over 3,000 overweight Americans, a research study demonstrated that risk for type 2 diabetes increased over 14 percent in those watching four hours of television a day. The average American watches 5.11 hours of television per day. The diabetes risk increased by 3.4 percent for each hour of television watching. Other seated activities, such as computer use, may have a similar detrimental effect, but the study only investigated the impact of television watching.
The research study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and published in the journal, Diabetologia. Lead author Dr. Bonny Rockette-Wagner found “…a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes with increased television watching (3.4 percent per hour spent watching television).”
She went on to state, “Our finding of a relationship between sedentary behavior and diabetes incidence means that reductions in sitting can translate into a positive health effect separate from improvements to moderate-vigorous activity like brisk walking.” During the study, participants were given either metformin (a commonly used drug to treat diabetes) or a placebo. All of them participated in lifestyle interventions. The interventions including adding 150 minutes of exercise per week to their lives. During the study, participants were asked to spend 140 minutes a day watching television. Funding for the research was provided by U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Television watching in the United States
With 99 percent of American homes owning a television and 65 percent of homes with more than one, the impact of television watching on health is enormous. Sixty-seven percent of Americans say that they eat dinner while watching television, and the average child now spends 1,480 hours a week in front of a television set. Compared to the 900 hours of school that children engage in every year, the average child spends one third more time watching TV, a total of 1,200 hour a year. This also adds up to 16,000 commercials a year, and 150,000 violent acts viewed by the time children are 18 years old.
Natural remedies for diabetes
There are many natural remedies for diabetes, which can help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, or reduce symptoms. Herbs, vitamins and foods can be found to lower blood sugar and insulin resistance. Nutrients like magnesium and niacinamide have been shown to lower diabetes risk. Consuming small amounts of cinnamon has been shown to lower blood glucose levels after only 40 days. Figs and chocolate both help lower blood sugar as well. Dark chocolate containing 60 percent cacao can reduce chocolate risk. Research on 8,000 people who ate four ounces of chocolate per day for one month had 13 percent less occurrence of diabetes later in life. Consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index helps maintain proper blood insulin levels. These foods include complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and legumes, along with proteins and healthy fats. Limiting sugar, fruits, simple carbohydrates helps the body to stabilize blood sugar levels. Some research shows that eliminating wheat entirely is beneficial for blood glucose levels. Coconut oil has also been used to reverse symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Any nutrients that fuel or rebuild the pancreas can be added to the diet to strengthen the body’s natural ability to balance its own blood sugar.