Yes, a daily regimen of a couple of episodes of "Jersey Shore," some "Hell's Kitchen," a couple of USA dramas and an hour each of Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity can trim five years off someone's life.
Dr. Veerman did not go deeper and specify how much Ron and Sammi's relationship on "Jersey Shore," Gordon Ramsay's hellish rants or the extremes of Keith and Sean could be individually blamed and which may be the most poisonous.
He did offer some potentially helpful advice, noting that PBS and the BBC can actually make a person live longer.
And he recommended an immediate public service campaign warning of the risks some reality series pose and encouraging more viewing of "American Experience."
Actually, research from Dr. Veerman and several others is hardly that provocative. Its conclusions are more of the "dog bites man," ho-hum variety.
Dr. Veerman found that the amount of TV viewing in Australia in 2008 showed life expectancy can go down by 1.8 years for men and 1.5 for women (Lifetime less noxious than Spike?).
"While we used Australian data, the effects in other industrialized and developing countries are likely to be comparable, given the typically large amounts of time spent watching TV and similarities in disease patterns," the researchers wrote, according to HealthDay.
Also, the researchers found those watching an average of 6 hours of TV a day can expect life expectancy to be 4.8 years than those watching no TV (all three of them).
And on average, those in the important 25-to-54 demographic can expect that every hour of TV they watch will knock 22 minutes off their life (actually, it's everyone 25 and older).
The argument in the British Journal of Sports Medicine is rather intuitive, however: basically a sedentary life style increases the risk of all sorts of medical conditions.
Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, told HealthDay: "As a rule, the more time we spend watching TV, the more time we spend eating mindlessly in front of the TV, and the less time we spend being physically active.
"More eating and less physical activity, in turn, mean greater risk for obesity, and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer."
Dr. Katz also said heavy TV watches may be "lonely, or isolated, or depressed, and these conditions, in turn, may be the real causes of premature mortality."
So, as much as parents would like to believe it, any TV-life expectancy risk has nothing to do with the content. Snooki is not to blame.