Those in lower- and middle-income countries who own televisions, cars and computers are more likely to develop obesity and diabetes, according to data from a recent study.
“With increasing uptake of modern-day conveniences — TVs, cars, computers — low- and middle-income countries could see the same obesity and diabetes rates as in high-income countries that are the result of too much sitting, less physical activity and increased consumption of calories,” Scott A. Lear, PhD, of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, said in a press release. “This can lead to potentially devastating societal health care consequences in these countries.”
The cross-sectional analysis included data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study (n=153,996) of adults from high-, upper-middle, lower-middle and low-income countries, according to data.
Lear and colleagues reported that the ownership of a household device (eg, television, cars and computers) increased from low- to high-income countries (4% to 83%, respectively, for all three devices) and was associated with a decreased physical activity and increased sitting, dietary energy intake, BMI and waist circumference.
There also was an increased rate of obesity (OR=1.43; 95% CI, 1.32-1.55) and diabetes (OR=1.38; 95% CI, 1.28-1.5) for those who owned any one household device compared with no device.
Those who owned a second device had a greater risk, whereas those who owned a third device did not, according to researchers.
Adjustments for lifestyle factors lessened the associations. Of the three devices, television ownership was significantly associated with obesity (OR=1.39; 95% CI, 1.29-1.49) and diabetes (OR=1.33; 95% CI, 1.23-1.44), according to data.
Patients from low-income countries who owned all three devices were significantly associated with obesity (OR=3.15; 95% CI, 2.33-4.25) and diabetes (OR=1.97; 95% CI, 1.53-2.53).
“Our findings emphasize the importance of limiting the amount of time spent using household devices, reducing sedentary behavior and encouraging physical activity in the prevention of obesity and diabetes,” researchers wrote.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.