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March 08, 2007

TV-Watching and Your Health

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

It seems clear that excessive TV viewing can encourage obesity and stupidity. But can it also contribute to anything that's, like, really serious? One psychologist now argues that TV abuse can in fact be linked to cancer, autism, early-onset puberty, Alzheimer's, and much, much else.

I wonder if your health depends in any way on whether you're watching MTV or The History Channel ...



posted by Michael at March 8, 2007


Oh looks like the fun nazis are at it again. If I can live until 90 with sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, violent video games, mountain biking, and yes, lots of TV watching, that's great. But if living long means living miserably, what good is it? I say it's time to get out the artificial butter flavor popcorn, booze, maybe some robo and er, pain pills and marriage-you-whana, and watch a nice, wholesome South Park DVD.

Posted by: birch barlow on March 8, 2007 2:49 PM

My dad is developing Alzheimers, and the TV is aggravating his condition. 12-16 hours of TV watching (volume up loud). He spaces out so often; he needs more stimulation (puzzles, reading, etc).

On the other hand, he spends a lot of time alone and I can't imagine how he would survive if he spent the time sitting quietly in his chair.

I don't have that much of a problem with TV watching as the commercial interruptions (duh!) and the constant effort of having to ignore these commercial messages. It drives me crazy.

Some days just looking at a flickering screen drives me crazy. On the other hand, I've watched tons of exhilirating TV, and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Posted by: Robert Nagle on March 8, 2007 4:42 PM

Hey, watching American Idol during the cuts is easy exercize!

Oh no, not her! [Muscles contract.] "X, you are not..." [Nervously fast mini-crunches.] "...going home." [And -- relax. Repeat twice. Commercial break.]

Posted by: J. Goard on March 9, 2007 1:41 AM

I think TIVO (or for me the Time Warner cable HD-DVR functional equivalent) is a great reliever of at least part of the brain deadening parts of TV – completely avoiding the commercials. But it’s only a partial solution. Too much (except perhaps for occasional “orgies” of watching good stuff) is a bad thing period, no matter what you’re watching. And of course most of what’s on is dreck. But there’s an awful lot on, especially if you can Tivo time shift.

What do I watch these days? SOME movies, though mostly that’s migrated to Netflix, unless a really good one shows up one of the HD channels, which are even higher res than DVD played through a progressive scan player to an HD TV set (a last year easterish acquisition.)

Some of the better cable series such as Rome (which I adore), Deadwood (which I like but which the gf refused to watch), and Big Love (can’t wait til it comes back). Series I’ve liked a bit but considerably less (no compulsion to see every episode unlike the above listed) were Entourage (like deadwood over now I guess?) (male fantasy only I suppose) and much less so, but sorta here and there Arrested Development.

What else? Actually recently discovered that I really like Firefly – best Sci-Fi serial I’ve seen. It’s in fairly frequent rerun mode these days. What I like about it isn’t the sci-fi but the characters and the dialog – usually a sci-fi weak spot. Hot chicks in a diverse way doesn’t hurt none either.

OK, I sorta like that Seattle girl surgical interns show, what’s it called. Grey’s Anatomy. Mostly cause I figured, correctly, that the gf would like it, after my intial prospecting. Nothing like every time though. Here and there.

Not too much else. Yeah, SOME history channel stuff for me too. Though I can rarely stand to watch it full attention, at least not without a lot of DVR/Tivo fast forwarding through boring bits. Most of the time it’s paced far too slowly. My tendency there is to put a recording of an interesting (to me) episode on while web surfing, keep an ear half cocked to it, and then when it gets to good parts give it full attention, and perhaps backup a bit for more context.

Posted by: dougjnn on March 13, 2007 5:35 PM

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