Posted on Feb 14, 2013, 6 a.m.
Television viewing and lack of exercise at age 16 associates with the risk of developing metabolic syndrome in your 40s.
Characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and adverse glucose and insulin metabolism, Metabolic Syndrome is a condition associated with increased risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that a lack of physical activity increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. It is also known that low leisure-time physical activity, for example, how much time spent watching TV is linked to the risk of metabolic syndrome independent of exercise habits. Patrik Wennberg , from Umea University (Sweden), studied 888 subjects in northern Sweden who had been followed from 1981 when they were in ninth grade in elementary school, until 2008. The researchers found that these lifestyle relationships persist over a large part of life, specifically between 16 to 43 years of age. Observing that: “Both TV viewing and low leisure-time physical activity in adolescence independently predicted the metabolic syndrome and several of the metabolic syndrome components in mid-adulthood,” the study authors submit that: “These findings suggest that reduced TV viewing in adolescence, in addition to regular physical activity, may contribute to cardiometabolic health later in life.”
Patrik Wennberg, Per E. Gustafsson, David W. Dunstan, Maria Wennberg, Anne Hammarstrom. “Television Viewing and Low Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Adolescence Independently Predict the Metabolic Syndrome in Mid-Adulthood.” Diabetes Care, January 22, 2013.