Tune out the TV shows that ruin your mood and your health

Television shows don’t just appear on television sets anymore. They’re also available on tablets, computers and smartphones. But if you’re not careful, one type of show can wreck your well-being.

A study at the University of Texas at Austin demonstrates that there’s danger in binge-watching endless episodes of a TV series. And the researchers point out that the more depressed and lonely you feel, the more likely you are to sit through hours and hours of a show.

The study looked at the moods and health of more than 300 people aged 18 to 29 and surveyed how often they watched TV. The scientists also recorded the frequency of their feelings of loneliness, depression and problems controlling their amount of television viewing. Included were data on their binge TV watching.

The results demonstrated that increased feelings of loneliness and depression are linked to the binge-watching of TV.

In addition, the investigation demonstrated that people deficient in self-control are more likely to binge-watch. They let TV viewing take over their lives and can’t move away from the video screen to do their chores or other tasks.

“Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings from our study suggest that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way,” says researcher Yoon Hi Sung. “Physical fatigue and problems such as obesity and other health problems are related to binge-watching and they are a cause for concern. When binge-watching becomes rampant, viewers may start to neglect their work and their relationships with others…”


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.