Can Television Make You Gain Weight?

sleeping with tv on

We all know that there are certain things that definitely lead to gaining weight, right? Eating junk food all day every day is one way to do it. Guzzling soft drinks instead of water is another way to do it. We also know there are certain factors that can lead to weight gain and they’re totally out of your control. That includes genetics or medical conditions that can cause you to have a slow metabolism. While we can all pretty much agree that never-ending junk food and bad genetics usually leads to weight gain, did any of you know that there’s something in your house that can cause you to pack on the pounds and all it’s doing is just sitting there? It’s your favorite leisurely pastime… That’s right – your television can actually cause you to gain weight, but not in the way you might think.

How Does Your Television Lead To Weight Gain?

You’re probably thinking, “Duh. If you sit around all day watching TV, you’re going to gain weight from being lazy.” Sure, being sedentary and watching TV all day isn’t doing your body any favors, but that’s not exactly what we’re talking about. It turns out, just being in the presence of a television at a particular time can lead to weight gain.


Don’t feel bad if you’re scratching your head in confusion. When we first heard this news, we were definitely confused ourselves. With that said, a recent study published by the National Institute of Health proved this incredible info to be totally true. Just being in the presence of a television can lead to weight gain – under some very particular circumstances. What are those circumstances? The first one is that the television has to be on. The second is that you have to be sleeping, and the third is that you have to be a woman.

sleeping with television on

Put simply, a recent study showed that women who sleep with their televisions on are more likely to gain weight. The study looked at the sleeping habits of 43,722 women between the ages of 35 and 74. The participants filled out questionnaires about the way they sleep, including whether or not they keep a television on overnight. This information was then correlated with the women’s patterns of weight gain or weight loss over the last five years. What the study found is that women who slept with a television or other light source on were 17% more likely to have gained at least 11 pounds in the last five years than the women who slept in total darkness! So how exactly does the television affect your weight?

Co-author of the study, Chandra Jackson, Ph.D., says that it is the artificial light from the television that leads to weight gain. Exposure to artificial light interferes with biological processes that occur during sleep, and in turn that can alter your body’s metabolism. Now, it’s worth noting that artificial light is not just television; it includes night lights, as well!

Why does this effect only apply to women? The truth is, it doesn’t. The results only apply to women because this particular study only looked at female subjects. Had the study been done on males, there is no reason to assume the results would be much different.

tv on while sleeping

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