Trump Reportedly Watches Four-Plus Hours of TV a Day. Science Says That's Not a Great Idea. - Pacific Standard

Trump Reportedly Watches Four-Plus Hours of TV a Day. Science Says That's Not a Great Idea.

Pacific Standard checks out the studies.
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Last weekend, the New York Times published a 4,000-plus-word report taking stock of President Donald Trump's first 11 months in office. For many readers, one detail seems to have stuck out: his fondness for television. "People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television," the Times reportsCue the headlines.

Trump has taken to Twitter to deny he watches four to eight hours of TV daily. Either way, it's clear, from frequent reactions to cable news segments, that he watches a lot. TV viewing also happens to be a highly studied habit among public-health and social scientists, so here at Pacific Standard, we thought we would take a quick look at some the most-cited studies.

Research shows heavy TV watching is associated with:

Seems rough! Yet Trump's habits are not so unusual: On average, American adults watch a little over five hours of TV a day, according to a Nielsen report from early 2016. A doctor might suggest cutting back on the screen time, for the sake of our physical and mental health.

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