UH study links TV use and unhealthy eating

The holidays can be a time for binge watching TV shows or movies. According to a University of Houston (UH) researcher, all of those hours in front of the television may lead to increased snacking.

A recent UH study conducted by professor Temple Northup suggests people who watch excessive amounts of TV tend to eat more unhealthy foods and might not understand the foundations of a healthy diet.

"A number of previous studies found a relationship between TV use in terms of the number of hours watched per day and unhealthy food consumption," said Northup, assistant professor at UH's Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. "In essence, the number of hours of TV you watch per day, the more unhealthy foods you eat. A common explanation for this is that TV watching is sedentary and encourages snacking."

Northup documents the relationship between television use and unhealthy food consumption in the study, "Understanding the Relationship Between Television Use and Unhealthy Eating: The Mediating Role of Fatalistic Views of Eating Well and Nutritional Knowledge." This study recently was published in The International Journal of Communication and Health.

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