Scientists found that an average day’s viewing increases the chance of developing the condition by nearly 14 per cent.

It means that couch potatoes could be sending themselves to an early grave. But a few simple lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and reducing inactivity could help slash the chance of being struck by the condition.

The study stated: “Future lifestyle intervention programmes should emphasise reducing television watching and other sedentary behaviours in addition to increasing physical activity.”

The research, carried out in the US, looked at data from more than 3,000 overweight adults on a Type 2 diabetes prevention programme.

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