Many of us absentmindedly reach for snacks with one hand while tapping away on the keyboard with the other. Now scientists say that eating at your desk makes you far more likely to snack later in the day. Researchers from the University of Bristol were studying the ways in which memory and attention influence our appetite.
You may have noticed that you feel hungry a lot. This is natural during adolescence; a person’s body demands more nutrients to grow. Snacks are a terrific way to satisfy that hunger and get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Stuffing your face with a large order of fries after class may give you a temporary boost, but a snack this high in fat and calories will only slow you down in the long run.
They asked one group of participants to eat a lunch that comprised nine different foods while playing Solitaire. They gave a second group the same lunch but provided no distractions. The team found those who played Solitaire felt less full after lunch. The effect was long-lasting as half an hour later the participants who played the computer game ate around twice as many chocolate biscuits as the non-distracted participants.
At the end of the test session, the distracted participants also found it more difficult to remember in what order they had eaten the food items provided for lunch. The scientists said their findings showed that distraction during one meal can lead to increased food intake later in the day, which could have a significant impact on obesity.