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Britons are wrecking their diets and social lives in the name of TV box-set binges, it has emerged, as the nation’s obsession with glossy American drama reaches epidemic levels.

In a survey conducted by uSwitch.com it was revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of consumers have skipped meals or even forgotten to eat due to their compulsion to indulge in back-to-back episodes of the likes of Breaking Bad and Homeland.

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A further 23% admitted their box-set obsession also caused their social lives to suffer. Meanwhile, 25% confessed they’re often so gripped that they refused to answer their phones, while a very weary 20% skipped sleep.

And our addiction is having an effect on sartorial standards too, with 27% revealing they stayed in their pyjamas lest they waste valuable viewing time changing, while 18% have seen their fixation turn into a filthy habit by skipping showers.

Marie-Louise Abretti, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: “You no longer have to fit your schedule around the TV guide, and you don’t even have to wait until you get home to watch your favourite shows.

“However, instead of making Brits more sociable, catching up on back-to-back episodes could see your social life suffer if you’re always saying the next episode is the last one.

She added: “Anyone streaming on their mobile should keep an eye on their data usage - catching up on Breaking Bad on the commute may help pass the time, but it could add to the cost of that already pricey train ticket if you’re streaming the show on the go.

“Luckily, services such as iPlayer and Sky Go mean you can download a show at home to watch on your mobile or tablet later.”

“And if you’re streaming or even downloading shows at home, make sure you don’t go over your broadband download limit. Check your usage and see if you would be better off on an unlimited downloads deal.

”If there are others in your home trying to get online at the same time, the strain on your broadband could lead to buffering or slow downloading. It may be that your broadband can’t cope and upgrading to fibre could speed things up.”

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