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Diabetes is a world-wide epidemic associated with multiple environmental factors. Prolonged television viewing (TV) time has been related to increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in several studies. TV viewing has been positively associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors, lower energy expenditure, over-eating high-calorie and high-fat foods. The objective of this study was to assess the associations of hours of TV viewing with dietary quality, obesity and physical activity for three ethnic minorities with and without type 2 diabetes. Diet quality and physical activity were inversely related to prolonged TV viewing. African Americans and participants with type 2 diabetes were more likely to watch more than 4 hours of TV per day as compared to their counterparts. Diet quality was inversely associated with physical activity level. Future studies are needed to establish the risk factors of prolonged TV watching in adult populations for the development of diabetes or diabetes-related complications. Although strategies to reduce TV watching have been proven effective among children, few trials have been conducted in adults. Intervention trials aimed at reducing TV viewing targeting people with type 2 diabetes may be beneficial to improve dietary quality and physical activity, which may reduce diabetes complications.

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Originally published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.



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