Reading MailOnline will make you live longer (OK, any news media will do), says study
People who use mass media have healthier dietsExperts hope findings will help develop more effective health strategies
People who keep up-to-date with current affairs are more health-conscious and will live longer, say scientists.
A study found those who were most exposed to newspaper, television and the internet had healthier diets than those who were less well informed.
It is now hoped that the findings will help experts to better understand the contribution of mass media in increasing awareness about health.
A study has found people who keep up-to-date with current affairs are more health-conscious and as a result will live longer
During the study of more than 1,000 adults, researchers assessed the correlation between exposure to information and eating habits.
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3) Which country has just freed several of its most prominent political prisoners
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They found those
most exposed to mass media consumed a healthier diet, with greater quantities of fruit and fresh fish, which reduced the risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer.
Lead researcher Dr Americo Bonanni, from the Catholic
University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, Italy, said: 'We focused
on eating habits, mainly on Mediterranean diet.
'Results have shown that people most
exposed to information delivered by any mass media source, reported
higher adherence to the Mediterranean -like eating patterns.
'The latter are considered as the most effective eating model for reducing the risk of chronic and neurodegenerative diseases.'
Past research has often suggested that mass media can have a negative impact on health.
For instance television viewing has been linked to
physical inactivity and snacking which are major risk factors for
obesity and heart disease.
But the latest findings suggest that television programmes, addressing health issues, can also make people more health-conscious.
Those most exposed to mass media consumed a healthier diet, which included fruit and fresh fish
The participants completed a specific questionnaire on mass media usage, from TV viewing to newspaper and magazine reading and surfing the Internet, which was then analysed alongside medical, lifestyle and dietary data.
Findings showed those who were more inquisitive about current affairs had better diets.
This supports previous studies which have found mass media campaigns have helped tackle a range of health issues including alcohol, drugs and HIV.
Lab director Dr Giovanni de Gaetano supported the contribution of mass media in increasing awareness about health.
He said: 'Information delivered by mass media may appear fragmented or imprecise, especially when we talk about health and prevention.
'Our study has however provided data which may turn out to be very useful in a period in which to combat obesity increase, unhealthy dietary habits and diffused laziness we are urged to find new ways to communicate health.
CURRENT AFFAIRS ANSWERS
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'We should stop being suspicious of mass media. The next step will be to evaluate the single sources of information and to study the changes that the internet is introducing in the way people, mainly the youngest, get informed on health topics.'
The study has been published in the International Journal of Public Health.