We have heard all our lives how watching TV while eating will make us consume more food. However, researchers have found that the opposite might be true.
The study found that being distracted by technology when eating might reduce your food intake. Researchers asked 119 adults to eat a meal while playing a computer game. They concluded that the participants who were playing games while eating consumed less food than those who weren’t.
Researchers assessed the amount of food the participants ate twice, once when they played a video game while eating and once when they ate with no distractions.
The game which the participants played is used for testing the visual attention and working memory. It has been used for patients with Alzheimer’s. It helped the participants stay distracted from food and focused on the game.
Each participant was asked to eat as much as they like in 15 minutes while they were playing a game or sitting in peace.
Thirty minutes after eating, participants were asked to complete a survey. The survey asked the participants to recall the amount of food they’ve been given, to recall how much food they ate, and to rate their hungriness and fullness.
The researcher expected people to eat more while they were playing games and to remember less of what they ate. However, the research has proven the opposite. Participants ate less while they were playing a video game.
The study hints the difference between eating mindlessly and eating while distracted. Mindless eating happens when we eat without planning on doing so. On the other side, distracted eating refers to eating while watching a TV show, playing a game, or answering emails.
The results of this research differ from many previous ones with a similar topic. This might be the case because the researchers compared the eating habits of individuals while they were distracted and while they weren’t, instead of comparing one group of people to the other.
This study claims something important. It finds the difference between eating while we aren’t aware of it and eating while watching your favorite TV show. It also opens the door for more studies and researches.