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Older adults watch more TV than younger people, enjoy it less
Date:6/28/2010

uch as TV watching, is associated with negative changes in many aspects of health including cardiovascular, bone health and cellular function. Television use in particular has been linked with greater risk for obesity and Type2 diabetes, lower life satisfaction, less frequent engagement in social and physical interaction, and increased risk for dementia.

The authors were surprised to find that older adults experienced TV watching as less enjoyable than younger people. "It is reasonable to expect that older adults may enjoy TV more than younger ones do, because they have fewer demands on their time. Prior studies also suggest they may use TV to regulate negative emotions," said co-author Dilip V, Jeste, MD, Distinguished Professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at UCSD School of Medicine, Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, and director of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging. "Yet, our study indicates that older adults report lower levels of positive emotion while watching TV when compared to other activities which is not the case in younger adults."

The researchers concluded that increasing public awareness of alternatives to TV watching and reducing barriers to alternative activities that are more socially and physically engaging could reduce TV use in older people and diminish the potential for associated negative health effects.


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Contact: Debra Kain
ddkain@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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