Eating At Your Desk Makes You Fat

eating at desk photo

Image Credit Nickgraywfu Creative Commons

Via Calorielab we learn of yet another thing that makes you fat: eating at your desk. It appears that when you are not paying attention to your food, you eat more and remember less.Researchers at The Universty of Bristol's School of Experimental Psychology were broken into two groups; one group played solitaire on the computer while the others ate the same foods without distraction.

The solitaire players ate about twice as much food, and couldn't remember what they ate. They also ate more at their next meal. According to the University of Bristol press release,

Similar observations have been made in people who eat while watching TV. This study extends these findings by showing how other 'screen-time activities' can influence our food intake in unexpected ways. This is important, because it reveals another mechanism by which sedentary screen-time activities might promote obesity.

Dr Jeff Brunstrom, Reader in Behavioural Nutrition and one of the authors of this paper, remarked:

"This work adds to mounting evidence from our lab and others that cognition, and memory and attention in particular, play a role in governing appetite and meal size in humans.

Sure enough, Michael Pollan has a food rule for this, number 58: Do all your eating at a table. he writes:

No, a desk is not a table. if we eat while we are working, or watching TV or driving, we eat mindlessly, and as a result we eat a lot more than we would if we were eating at a table, paying attention to what we are doing.

The study backs up Pollan's common sense.

More things that make you fat:
What Makes You Fat?
Cul de Sacs and 11 Other Unexpected Things That Are Making You Fat
Urban Planners Make You Fat
Michael Pollan: The Government Makes You Fat
No, This Is Why You're Fat!

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