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Fans of Reality Beauty Shows Twice as Likely to Tan: Study

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- People who tune in to reality beauty shows on television are much more likely to use tanning lamps and to tan outdoors than those who don't watch such shows, a new study finds.

Indoor and outdoor tanning increase the risk of skin cancer, experts note.

The study included 576 college students who were asked about their television viewing and tanning habits. Those who watched reality beauty shows were much more likely to use tanning lamps (nearly 13 percent vs. 4 percent) and to tan outdoors (about 43 percent vs. 29 percent) than those who didn't watch such shows.

After taking into account a number of other factors, the Brooklyn College researchers concluded that young adults who watch reality television beauty shows were more than twice as likely to use tanning lamps or to tan outdoors.

The researchers also found that women were about 10 times more likely than men to use tanning lamps.

The findings appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

"This is the first study to report that watching reality television beauty shows is associated with increased tanning lamp use and tanning outdoors. Those who engage in these tanning behaviors place themselves at risk for cancer," author Joshua Fogel, a professor in the finance and business management department, said in a college news release.

The findings do not prove a cause-and-effect link between watching reality television beauty shows and skin cancer risk, Fogel said.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about the risks of tanning.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Brooklyn College, news release, Jan. 6, 2013

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