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The long-term health effects of too much television: whose responsibility?
  1. H M McAnally1,
  2. R J Hancox2
  1. 1Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr R J Hancox, Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; bob.hancox{at}

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Most people realise that too little physical activity is bad for our health. It is less well understood that this does not just mean insufficient physical exercise, but also spending too much time being sedentary. Watching television is among the most sedentary of behaviours, and yet, screen time is now the most common waking activity for many children and may even exceed the amount of time spent asleep for some children.1 ,2 Wennberg et al3 demonstrate, yet again, that too much time spent watching television can have long-term consequences for health. Wennberg and colleagues found that television viewing time in adolescence and early adulthood is associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome in mid-life. They confirm previous research that childhood and adolescence may be a particularly sensitive time for developing …

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