New study links multitasking during meals to increased calorie intake.
Watching television or reading during mealtime could lead to greater calorie intake over the course of the day, an analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found.
The review examined two dozen studies that looked at the effects of multitasking (or not) during mealtime. One study, for example, observed how much subjects consumed if they watched television while they ate. Another looked at the effects of distracted eating on calorie intake later in the day. Studies that evaluated the influence of greater mindfulness (like subjects being told to pay attention to what they were eating) and memory (recalling what they’d eaten at lunch just before snack time) were also included.
Distracted eating was not only linked to a modest increase in calorie consumption during mealtime, but also to the likelihood of eating more hours later. Interestingly, greater awareness of consumpion during meals did not always lead to eating fewer calories. However, subject who recalled how much they ate at a previous meal did rein in food intake later in the day.
The takeaway: Mindfulness can not only lead to better health and improved running performance, but may help you maintain or lose weight.