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Binge Watching TV Linked to Bowel Cancer


Binge Watching TV Linked to Bowel Cancer

Love a Netflix marathon? Then you might want to press pause and take notice of this new study: binge-watching TV for over four hours a day could raise the risk of bowel cancer in men.
Published in the British Journal of Cancer, the study found compared to men who watched an hour or less of TV a day, those plonked on the sofa for over four hours had a 35% greater risk of developing the cancer. Interestingly, women don’t face the same risk as men.

How does too much TV raise the risk of cancer?

A research team at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
in France looked at data from over half a million men and women. As one of the biggest investigations into the link between bowel cancer and a sedentary lifestyle, it found a startling correlation.
“Previous research suggests that watching TV may be associated with other behaviours, such as smoking, drinking and snacking more, and we know that these things can increase the risk of bowel cancer,” said lead researcher Dr Neil Murphy.
“Being sedentary is also associated with weight gain and greater body fat. 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.”
On the flip side, men who were more physically active had a lower risk of bowel cancer – a 23% reduced risk compared to less active men.

All in moderation

While there were some limitations to the study, health experts agree the best way to reduce the risk of bowel cancer is to follow a balanced diet, get plenty of regular exercise, and try to quit drinking, smoking and other behaviours.
Need a helping hand? Chat with a dietician or nutritionist for personalised advice.

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