Sedentary lifestyle,  watching TV, may up diabetes risk

“Experts claim being a couch potato can increase the risk of developing diabetes,” the Daily Express reports. A study estimated that each hour of time spent watching TV increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 2.1% in high-risk .

The study originally compared two interventions aimed at reducing the risk of developing diabetes compared to placebo. It involved 3,000 participants who were overweight, had high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

These are early indications that they may be developing diabetes (often referred to as pre-diabetes). The interventions were either metformin (a drug used to treat diabetes) or a lifestyle intervention of diet and exercise.

This study used data collected from the original trial to see if there was a link between increased time spent watching the TV and risk of developing diabetes.

Across all of the groups they found a slightly increased risk, which was 3.4% per hour of TV watching when being overweight was not taken into account.

The findings may not be reliable, as researchers did not take other risk factors into account, such as family history of diabetes, use of other medication or smoking status. They also relied on self-reported TV watching times, which may not be very accurate.

That said, lack of exercise is a known risk factor for a range of chronic diseases – not just diabetes. Read more about why sitting too much is bad for your health.

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