Time spent watching television may be linked to increased risk of death

General Health
The Wall Street Journal reports that there may be a link between the time an individual spends watching television and his or her risk of death, according to a study published in the journal Circulation. Bloomberg News picked up the story, reporting that investigators "tracked the TV-viewing habits of 8,800 adults and followed them for six years." The study findings indicated that "every hour of daily TV watching increased the risk of dying from any cause by 11 percent," HealthDay reported. The researchers found that "for cardiovascular diseases the increased risk was 18 percent, and for cancer it was nine percent." When "compared with those who watched less than two hours per day, those who watched TV for more than four hours each day had an 80 percent increased risk of…
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Active Girls Make Better Grades

Children's Health, Parenting
Girls who spend more time in vigorous physical activity may do better in school, even if they are not particularly fit, study findings hint. According to this report from Reuters Health, Dr. Lydia Kwak, at Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden, and colleagues examined associations between light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity and academic achievement in 232 students (52 percent girls) who were 16 years old on average and attending ninth grade in a Swedish school. They tallied students' grades in language, science, math, history, and other school subjects, Kwak's team explains in the Journal of Pediatrics. They assessed students' overall physical activity by having each wear an accelerometer - a physical activity meter similar to a pedometer - for 4 consecutive days that included at least one weekend day. The researchers determined…
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Obesity Outweighs Smoking as Life Expectancy Threat

General Health, Medical Economics, Nutritional Health, Obesity
When I wrote my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I predicted that if the obesity epidemic was not stemmed, that this generation of U.S. children would be the first in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parent. Now, new population-level predictions show the importance of tackling obesity for the nation's health. In other words, the gains we are making in improved life expectancy from lower smoking rates, especially over the next decade, will be offset by a great degree by reductions in life expectancy based on the rise in obesity. This report, from MedPage, tells us that if obesity and smoking rates had held steady, the average 18-year-old would have seen a 2.98-year increase in life expectancy over a 15-year period. At…
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