Watching Substantial Amounts of TV Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Fatty Liver

​According to the researchers of the University of Turku, watching a substantial amount of TV is associated with fatty liver regardless of age, sex, physical exercise, occupational physical activity, sleep, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diet.

– During a 10-year follow-up, individuals who watched TV for three hours or more each day had a higher risk of fatty liver than those who spent one hour or less in front of the TV. The finding was the same with all three indicators that were used, says MD Harri Helajärvi from the University of Turku.

Individuals who watched TV at least three hours a day had more than double the risk of fatty liver in comparison to those reporting only one hour or less of TV watching a day.

The study is the first to investigate the association between sedentary behaviour and fatty liver. The results suggest that spending a great deal of time sitting has a negative impact on liver function. This is likely to be caused by an increase in body weight caused by sitting, but some direct mechanisms can also be involved.

Fatty Liver and Sitting Have Similar Associations with Health

Interestingly, both fatty liver and sedentary behaviour are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and premature death. However, the exact mechanisms are still unknown.

– All these diseases related to our way of living have increased alongside physical inactivity and excessive sedentary time. Furthermore, fatty liver increases the risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatic cancer, Helajärvi concludes.

The researchers investigated the time people spent in front of TV and its effect on the amount of fat in the liver with a 10-year follow-up study between 2001 and 2011. Based on earlier research, watching a great deal of TV is associated with negative health outcomes more often than other types of sedentary behaviour.

The study evaluated the self-reported daily TV viewing time of 1,367 subjects aged 34–49 years. Of the subjects, 748 were women and 619 men.

The research is part of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study coordinated by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at University of Turku.

The study was published in Annals of Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Photo: mojzagrebinfo



Published date 10/1/2015 2:55 PM ,  Modified date 10/1/2015 3:03 PM

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