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July 16, 2003

Television Viewing and Risk of Obesity—ReplyTelevision Viewing and Risk of Obesity—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(3):332. doi:10.1001/jama.290.3.332

In Reply: Drs Redelmeier and Stanbrook raise the interesting hypothesis that television content rather than sedentary behavior may be responsible for an association between prolonged television watching and risk of obesity. This hypothesis is difficult to test in epidemiologic studies because television contents are challenging, if not impossible, to measure in uncontrolled settings. In our study, we specifically asked about sitting at home watching television, and thus, our measure of prolonged television watching indeed represents a sedentary activity. Although any prolonged sedentary behavior is unhealthy, television watching may confer even greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes than other sedentary behaviors because of the combination of decreased activity and increased caloric intake.