Does watching TV cause weight gain??

TV watchers eat up to 25% more food later
By being unaware of what you have eaten because of being distracted by TV, people who eat whilst watching also eat up to 25% more later in the day without realising it according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Research says that we are most likely to mindlessly eat food and experience weight gain if it is visible. Being visually triggered to eat food is the much more likely when watching tv because of direct advertising, product placement, programme sponsorship and programme content with lots of programming dedicated to cookery and travel which focus on eating. In 2010 the junk food companies spent $4.2 billion according to Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Research confirms that tv watching indicates a correlation between poor food choices and high fat diets (Sonia Livingstone 2004). If Food manufacturers could sell their products in the same volumes without having to advertise, they would. Advertising is to persuade consumers to like their products. Is it possible that if products were left for consumers to decide if they liked processed food without external promotion, they may find that they preferred simple, healthier, natural products?

TV raises appetite in those who are not hungry

TV content dedicated to food causes viewers to think about food which can in turn increase appetite, resulting in greater consumption, of likely high fat sugary foods.


The culture of tv is making people fat too. This culture of wanting to watch more tv is resulting in devaluing cooking and having family meals and replacing them with quick to prepare microwave ready meals which are HFSS foods (High Fat, salt, and sugar)..By 2002 Britain ate double the amount of ready meals as France party because families wanted to sit down to watch tv.

TV stress increases emotional eating

People over eat to change how they feel (see food addiction). TV content is skewed to raise emotional experiences through cliffhangers, conflict and aggression or relationship loss and love. By experiencing these dramatic emotions, emotional eaters are just as likely to respond by over eating. Many people plan emotional eating by preparing chocolate or biscuits before they expose themselves to their TV experience and with it, the foundations of their weight gain.


TV also solicits feelings by re-enforcing anxiety and inferiority by having gladiatorial type programmes which expose conflict and either resolution or retribution such as Jeremy Kyle.

Body image issues are maintained by dramatic cues such as the bad guys are often overweight, arrogant, lazy and flawed whilst good characters are beautiful, strong, intelligent and agile. Subtly this leads to personal anxiety for obese people who are culturally portrayed as weak and limited.

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