Binge watching is becoming increasingly common and may impact energy balance and body weight. The COVID-19 pandemic has created conditions conducive to binge watching and increased stress. We investigated relationships between COVID-related stress and binge watching behaviors, and potential variation in this relationship by body weight. Adults (n
= 466) completed a cross-sectional online survey assessing binge watching behaviors during and before the pandemic, COVID-related stress, and body weight. Participants reported an increase in binge watching frequency from before to during the pandemic (F1,401
= 99.970, p
< 0.001), with rates of high binge watching (“3–4 times per week” to “3 or more times per day”) increasing from 14.6% to 33.0%. Binge watching episode duration increased from 3.26 ± 1.89 h to 3.92 ± 2.08 h (p
< 0.001). The increase in binge watching frequency was greatest in individuals with obesity and high stress (F 4,401
= 4.098, p
= 0.003). Participants reporting high stress reported higher frequency of eating while binge watching, as well as higher levels of negative emotional triggers, consequences to binge watching, and lack of control over binge watching (all p
< 0.001). Our results show that binge watching increased during the pandemic, with greater increases among individuals reporting higher COVID-related stress, especially those with obesity, and concomitant effects on eating, and highlight a need for interventions to minimize the obesogenic impact of binge watching during the pandemic.
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