The Deadliest Household Appliance

There’s one appliance in your home that is more dangerous than any other. If you use it daily, as most Americans do, you significantly increase your risk for an early death, diabetes and heart disease.

The deadly appliance is your television. Researchers that examined the consequences of watching television for more than two hours daily found that TV viewing increases your risk of chronic disease and a shortened life. And the average American watches for a whopping five hours a day.

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This study examined the links between these health issues and TV:

  • Heart disease: Two hours a day of television bumps up your chances of heart problems by about 15 percent.
  • Not enough sleep: We generally need at least seven hours of sleep, but TV is keeping us up too late. This sleep shortage increases your chances for heart disease, injury in an auto accident and weight gain. Plus, exposure to the light from a video screen at night increases women’s breast cancer risk.
  • Diabetes: Two hours of TV daily ups your risk for type 2 diabetes by about 20 percent.
  • Shortened longevity: In this study, two hours of television viewing each day increased the chance of death during the research period (three decades) by more than 10 percent.
  • Diminished vision: Watching television as a youngster for four hours a day or more significantly increases the risk of myopia (nearsightedness).

The message of this research: Almost any activity is healthier than watching television. And if you want to lose weight, one of the most effective activities you can start with is to hit the off button on the TV’s remote control.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.