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Reality Beauty Show Watchers More Likely to Use Tanning Beds

Update Date: Jan 11, 2013 03:58 AM EST

The findings of a new study have revealed a not-so-surprising link about reality beauty show watchers and their tanning habits. Most celebrities on television showcase a perfectly toned and tanned body and pretty obviously, a large number of viewers get influenced and motivated to display such looks, at the cost of risking their health.

The research has established that people who tune in to reality beauty shows on television are much more likely to use tanning lamps and to tan outdoors than people who do not watch such shows, Medical Xpress reports.

Tanning, be it indoors or outdoors, is dangerous, as it increases the risk of skin cancer, experts note. For the current study, researchers quizzed 576 college students about their television viewing and tanning habits.

The findings revealed that those who habitually watched reality beauty shows were much more likely to use tanning lamps (nearly 13 percent vs. 4 percent) and to tan outdoors (about 43 percent vs. 29 percent), when compared to students who did not watch such shows.

After considering other factors, researchers from the Brooklyn College concluded that youngsters who watch reality television beauty shows have double the chances of being likely to use tanning lamps or to tan outdoors. Also, the research findings concluded that this link is more pronounced for women, with them being 10 times more likely than men to use tanning lamps.

"This is the first study to report that watching reality television beauty shows is associated with increased tanning lamp use and tanning outdoors. Those who engage in these tanning behaviors place themselves at risk for cancer," author Joshua Fogel, a professor in the finance and business management department, said in a college news release.

The current research does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between reality show watching and skin cancer risk, Fogel said.

The findings appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 

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