Watching more than four hours of TV daily raises men’s bowel cancer risk by 35%
Researchers found that men who watched TV for more than four hours per day were likelier to develop colorectal cancer over six years when compared with those who spent less time in front of the TV.
But it is not all doom and gloom; the study also found that men could lower their risk of colon cancer by increasing their physical activity levels.
Lead researcher Dr. Neil Murphy, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, and colleagues recently reported their results in the British Journal of Cancer.
A wealth of research has pinpointed sedentary behavior as a major cause of health problems, and watching TV is one such behavior.
A recent study reported by Medical News Today, for example, revealed that watching too much TV could increase the risk of potentially fatal blood clots, while other research found that it may harm sleep quality.
Now, researchers claim that binge-watching TV could raise the risk of colorectal cancer — for men, at least.
Colorectal cancer, or bowel cancer, is cancer that begins in the colon or rectum. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there will be 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in the United States this year.
Lack of physical activity is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer, so it will come as no surprise that watching TV for hours at a time might contribute to the disease.
Researchers suggest that eating more whole grains could protect against colorectal cancer.
“Previous research suggests that watching TV may be associated with other behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and snacking more, and we know that these things can increase the risk of bowel cancer,” says Dr. Murphy.
“Being sedentary is also associated with weight gain and greater body fat,” he adds. “Excess body fat may influence the blood levels of hormones and other chemicals which affect the way our cells grow, and can increase bowel cancer risk.”
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