Older women who say talk shows and soap operas are their favorite TV programs tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive skills.
A study of 289 older women without dementia found that those who rated talk shows and soaps as their favorite programs performed more poorly on tests of memory, attention and mental quickness than their peers who cited other types of shows.
What's more, they were at greater risk of showing signs of clinical impairment. For example, compared with women who preferred to watch news programs, those who favored soaps were more than seven times more likely to show signs of impairment on one of the tests, while talk show fans were more than 13 times more likely to demonstrate impairment.
If they did a study of people who listened to talk radio, read magazines and blogs, would we do better?