Is Your TV Ruining Your Paleo Progress? Here’s What Research Says!

Eating the paleo diet, which consists of consuming organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, and staying away from processed foods, grains, chips, and soft drinks, can significantly improve your overall health. However, where you eat your meals can also play a crucial role in determining the success of your new health journey, and the dreadful culprit is your television set.

Watching television while eating, even if you are consuming healthy paleo foods, might hinder your chances of reaping the benefits of your dietary improvements. Research has shown that spending excessive time watching television is a deadly habit that can negatively affect one’s health. While the exact reasons for these adverse effects are still unknown, studies have established that those who watch more TV experience worse health and are at risk of premature death.

An eight-year-long research in Spain involving over 13,000 people, who were healthy when the study began, revealed that individuals who watched TV for three hours or more daily had twice the risk of dying prematurely. Researcher Martinez-Gonzalez stated, “Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality.”

Disturbing Sleep Patterns

Watching too much television can also disrupt your sleep and throw your body’s internal clock off balance. Sleep is an essential function for our body, as it helps restore its brain circuits and allows muscles to recover from the day’s activities. This disturbance in sleep patterns has been observed in young children as well.

A study conducted by Harvard scientists on the TV-viewing habits of 1,800 children revealed that those who watch more television sleep significantly lesser. The researchers found that every additional hour of television viewing per day was linked to seven fewer minutes of sleep each night. They warned that these results back previous studies, which proved that both watching television and sleeping in a room with a TV can reduce total sleep time, which further hurts mental and physical health.

Cancer Risk

Television can also increase your risk of developing cancer. German scientists conducted a study that examined people’s TV watch habits and other sedentary activities. They discovered that inactive activities like watching television could increase your risk of lung, endometrial, and colon cancer. Their findings showed that spending two hours every day sitting on your couch in front of the television could increase colon cancer chances by 8%, endometrial cancer risk by 10%, and lung cancer risk by 6%.

The researchers believe that TV viewing can be seriously harmful since it encourages people to drink sweet soft drinks and eat junk food while watching, which wouldn’t happen with a paleo diet.

Television’s Impact on Your Diet

What you see on TV could make it harder for you to consume healthy foods that form part of the paleo diet. Food advertisements on television are specifically designed to manipulate your desires and entice you into making unhealthy food choices.

Research conducted at Dartmouth involving over 3,000 young people aged between 15 to 23 years concluded that those who were more familiar with ads for fast-food joints like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, ended up weighing the most. Researcher Auden C. McClure remarked, “This study links obesity in young people to familiarity with this advertising, suggesting that youth who are aware of and receptive to televised fast-food marketing may be at risk for health consequences.”

These findings demonstrate the importance of not just watching what you eat but also being mindful of what you watch. Consuming meals in front of the television may prevent you from achieving your health goals. Adopting the paleo lifestyle isn’t just about following the diet strictly. Emulating your ancestors’ viewing habits will also go a long way in helping you develop healthier TV habits.