Does TV Make You Fat?

I’m not the only person who enjoys watching TV. However recent research has pointed to the risk of it making us fatter.

Experiments done by Professor Jane Wardle at the University of Surrey has proved that people who eat while watching TV increase snack eating subsequently by a significant amount

Two identical families (2 adults 2 children) were given identical meals before testing computer games. One family ate on their knees in front of the TV and the other family ate at a table. The TV family ate 3 times more snack food (crisps and sweets) than the family who ate at table.


Dolly Mittal and her team reporting in The Psychologist in 2014 have shown that snacking while watching TV, as opposed to snacking while not watching TV, lead women in particular to eat more later on, partly because the effect of the TV is to affect the memory for how much we snacked on earlier.

32 women of unexceptional weight spent 20 minutes eating snack food, half while watching TV and the others while sitting quietly. Later at lunchtime, the TV watchers ate twice as much food as did the women who had snacked while watching TV.  In a follow up study, the researchers investigated the types of TV, from comedy to a boring documentary. The same TV-overeating occurred, and it seemed that the type of programme watched made no difference at all.

Since it is proved that obesity in childhood  is directly related to the number of hours of TV watched per week, it may be useful to take your TV out of the kitchen and stop eating in front of the telly as much as possible, and for life.

I await with interest research on Facebook making us fat… perhaps.