By Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 10:52 BST, 13 August 2019 | Updated: 10:57 BST, 13 August 2019
Binge-watching your favourite TV series is bad for your brain, a neurologist has warned.
Dr Randall Wright, based in Texas, said the need to watch episode after episode has a similar effect on the brain to gambling.
What's more, Dr Wright added that sitting in front of the screen for hours creates an 'unhealthy environment'.
The past time often leads to social isolation, snacking on junk food and a lack of exercise and sleep, which, over time, is bad for the brain, he said.
But he said it is possible to ward off the side effects of being a coach potato with four tips, including opting for hummus instead of chips.
Binge-watching your favourite TV series is bad for your brain, a neurologist has warned
When you let auto play start the next episode so you can find out what happens in the cliffhanger, your brain receives positive feedback, Dr Wright wrote in an article for the Houston Methodist Hospital.
This instant gratification is similar to gambling where even after a win, you are not satisfied and want to continue playing.
Excessive TV watching is linked to eight of the major causes of death, including cancer, liver disease and Parkinson's, a study published in 2015 found.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Michigan discovered that those who watch more than three-and-a-half hours of television a day are not only at risk of cancer and heart disease, but also diabetes, flu, pneumonia, Parkinson's and liver disease.
People who watched between three and four hours of TV a day were 15 per cent more likely to die from a common cause of death, compared to those who watched less than one hour a day and died naturally, according to the findings in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
A study published in July 2016, also found binge-watching numerous episodes of your favourite TV series could be deadly.
Adults who spend five hours in front of the television each day are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from a blood clot in the lungs, Japanese scientists said in the journal Circulation.
With binge-watching, you are not satisfied with stopping after episode five and want to continue watching.
This cycle coupled with the snacking and sedentary behaviour of binge-watching can lead to unhealthy changes in your brain and body over time.
Dr Wright said: 'Binge-watching itself is not bad.
'It becomes problematic when watching a third, fourth or fifth episode replaces healthy activities.
'But if you incorporate these tips into your