Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Down with Science

When I mentioned yesterday that big things were going on with family this week, it was really because I had the inside track that the findings from this study were coming out today. This is a gigantic blow to me as one of the biggest fans of television in the world.

The study findings indicate that '"Compared with people who watched less than two hours of television daily, those who watched more than four hours a day had a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes and an 80 percent increased risk for CVD-related death," the researchers said in a statement.'

This is TV bashing and hating of the worst kind. The researchers also said that "the study focused specifically on television watching but the findings suggest that any prolonged sedentary behavior, such as sitting at a desk or in front of a computer, may pose a health risk." These horrible people went out of their way to insult television watching instead of the non-act of sitting still and doing absolutely nothing. To me this is completely unrelated to TV-watching aside from the fact that TV watching is the means to the end of being a lump.

In other words, there is a strange strong positive correlation between walking inside of a McDonald's and dying of a heart attack. Eat at Wendy's! Some parents who don't like their children watching TV commissioned this horrible study.

The only way this study could have been remotely worthwhile is if they took people staring at the wall for four hours a day and compared their health to people watching four hours of TV a day. If the TV people were unhealthier in a statistically significant way compared to the wall starers, then we may have something to talk about. What if I'm on the treadmill for the four hours that I am watching TV every day? Is it TV itself that is putting me at risk, because if you can't prove it is specifically the act of watching TV, this story should never have seen the light of day - unless they completely de-emphasized the TV watching component and focused on being sedentary. Hands off my TV, science, until you can realistically prove TV is not my friend.

1 comment:

Brad said...

Rest assured, correlation is not causation.

For example, one could also mis-report the study results as: "People with an 80% higher chance of dying a CVD-related death prefer to spend their last days watching 4+ hours of TV".