Atheer – Oman News Agency
Binge watching more than four hours of television a day could increase the risk of bowel cancer among men, a study has revealed
The study, carried out by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France, warned that men who watch less than an hour of television a day are 35 percent less likely to develop the disease than peers sitting through more than four hours of TV programmes.
Data from almost 500,000 men and women between 2006 and 2010 was analysed to investigate a possible link between sedentary behaviour and the development of bowel cancer, discovering that men who spent less time in front of the TV were also less likely to develop bowel cancer later in life.
Dr. Neil Murphy, lead researcher at the IARC in France, said “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. 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.”
Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, said “this study poses interesting questions, such as why screen time from computers didn’t increase the risk of bowel cancer but watching TV did.
“There is evidence that greater exposure to TV junk food adverts increases the likelihood of eating more, which will also increase one’s chances of becoming overweight.”
“It’s interesting that only men who watched a lot of TV had an increased risk of bowel cancer, but not women,” she added. “The study didn’t look at this directly, but it could be because men might smoke, drink and eat more unhealthily than women while watching TV.”
“We’ll need further research to answer the questions this study raises. What we do know is that keeping a healthy weight, cutting back on alcohol, being physically active and eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables are known to cut your risk of bowel cancer.”
*Image taken from Google