Why Eating In Front Of The TV Is Bad For Your Health

By Arvin Matthew, Parent Herald April 27, 07:07 am

Nothing is more relaxing than coming home from work and catching up on your favorite television series with a bag of chips at hand and a stash of cold fizzy drinks nearby. While this food-TV combo might relieve your stress, nutritionists say it doesn't do anything to improve your health.

Watching TV Makes You Gain More Weight

A new study conducted by the Autonomous University of Madrid revealed that how you eat plays a more important role in your overall health than what you eat. Researchers drew their conclusion from surveying over 1,600 people ages 18 to 60. The respondents were asked to answer questions relating to their weight and regular eating habits during a 3-year span.

In the course of the study, approximately one-third of the respondents gained at least 6.5 pounds. Furthermore, those who admitted eating while watching TV at least twice a week were more likely to gain weight than those who didn't have such a habit, as per Huffington Post.

Lauren Blake, a dietitian at The Ohio State University, said the findings weren't surprising. She explained that eating while watching TV involves a lack of mindfulness and self-control. Since people's attention is fixed on the television screen, they won't be able to notice how much they have consumed, or if they feel full at all.

Distraction Causes Brain To Forget Meals

This new study corroborated with a prior researched published in the journal Appetite via Daily Mail. In the 2015 study, 39 women were subjected to a series of different-leveled food experiments to test how distraction affected their appetite.

It was found out that women who watched TV or used their smartphones while eating were more likely to crave for snacks later on, as compared to those who solely focused on their meal. Researchers explained that the distraction causes the human brain to forget previous meals. Ergo, people who weren't paying much attention to their food have a greater chance of feeling hunger after meals.

"Despite differences in the type of lunch eaten - for example, buffet versus soup - and the type of attention manipulation - for example, computer game-playing versus TV watching, a clear pattern of results was observed," the researchers wrote. "Distraction during eating increased later snack intake while focusing on food decreased later snack intake."

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