We’re all guilty of watching TV, reading the newspaper, checking social media while eating. A new study abstract in the Journal of Health Psychology has identified the WORST activity to do while eating: walking.
Researchers at the University of Surrey in England studied three groups of women to test distracted eating – one group watched a 5-minute clip of Friends while eating a cereal bar; one group ate the cereal bar while walking; the last group at the bar while sitting opposite a friend and talking. After filling out a questionnaire post snacking and taste-test chocolate, carrot sticks, grapes, and potato chips.
In comparing the measurement of how much each snack each group ate, it was found that the women who had been asked to eat while walking consumed five times more chocolate than the other groups.
Susan Albers, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in mindful eating says it is bad for you due to being distracted,
“When you’re walking, you’re engaged in so many activities, like paying attention to where you’re going and trying not to run into things,”
“It’s next to impossible to actually focus on what you’re eating, which can keep you from processing how it’s having an impact on your hunger.”
The best way to eat is sitting down, free of distractions – chew slowly, savor the flavours and smile between bites .