Computer lunches add weight

Some of you may remember the promises that computers would be amazing labour saving devices. This was perhaps one of the most whimsical of societal jokes since as we all know where computers have not eradicated jobs all together they have simply changed the work, not reduced it, and in many cases they have increased the work to be done by simply increasing the amount of data available. This has resulted in many lunch hours spent working front of the computer or playing games to unwind. The really bad news is that this habit might be making you put on weight.

For a new study researchers divided the subjects up into two groups. One group ate a set lunch while playing solitaire on the computer. The other group ate the same meal but with no distractions.

Thirty minutes after their meal all participants were asked to undertake a taste test on some biscuits wherein they were asked to sample as many of the biscuits as they wanted. They were also asked to recall all of the nine items that they were offered at lunch and the order in which they were served.

The results were quite stark. Those who had their lunch in front of the computer on average consumed twice as many calories as the others, despite both groups having eaten exactly the same food for lunch. The computer lunch group also had greater difficulty remembering the order in which their lunch had been served and reported feeling less full after lunch.

This adds to other research showing that being distracted while you eat can make you feel less full afterward resulting in being hungrier soon after. The additional calories you consume from eating in front of the computer (or television) could of course add kilos over time.

So get yourself away from the desk at lunchtime and eat your lunch under a tree somewhere, you’ll be the thinner, and the happier, for it.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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