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Sedentary Adolescents May Later Develop Chronic Disease

Previous studies have shown that lack of physical activity increase the risk of metabolic syndrome.  New research findings now reveal that apart from lack of exercise, television viewing (regardless of exercise habit) at age 16 is also linked to the risk of developing metabolic syndrome at age 43.

Metabolic syndrome is considered a risk factor in developing stroke, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It is a combination of any of three metabolic disorders or conditions, including abdominal or central obesity (large waist circumference), low levels of HDL or good cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, high blood pressure and high levels of fasting blood sugar.

The study involved 888 participants in northern Sweden who had been followed for 27 years starting at their 9th grade in elementary school in 1981 until 2008. They found that participants who reported “watching several shows a day” and engaged in leisure-time physical activity “several times/month” or less were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who watched “one show per week” and did “daily” leisure-time physical activity at age 16 years.

The study was recently published in the journal Diabetes Care and was conducted by lead author Patrik Wennberg, Per Gustafsson, Maria Wennberg, Anne Hammarström (all from  the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University) and David Dunstan of Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne. According to Wennberg, the findings indicate the need to consider reducing sedentary lifestyle of children and adolescents, as this may be more critical than focusing only on fitness and sports activities.


Umeå university (2013, January 30). TV viewing and sedentary lifestyle in teens linked to disease risk in adulthood. ScienceDaily.

Posted in: Disease Prevention, Exercise, Kid's Health, Lifestyle, Longevity, News Briefs

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