USA Today (12/3, Painter) reports that a study published online Dec. 2 in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that “young adults who watch a lot of TV and engage in very little exercise” may encounter problems with thinking in middle age. For the study, researchers “followed more than 3,000 people, starting at an average age of 25 and ending when they took cognitive tests 25 years later.”

The Los Angeles Times (12/3, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that those individuals “who were most likely to get the lowest scores were the ones who watched the most television and the ones who got the least exercise when they were young adults,” with “extreme couch potatoes” having “the greatest risk of intellectual decline.”

According to the Washington Post (12/3, Cha) “To Your Health” blog, the study authors “theorized that ‘physical activity during young adulthood may preserve cognitive function and contribute to cognitive reserve by increasing neurogenesis as well as synaptic plasticity, particularly in regions associated with executive function and processing speed.’