Separating Meal Time & TV Time

Although they're rarely referred to as 'TV Dinners' any more, that's how the original frozen meals were marketed to a nation just discovering the wonders of television back in the 1950s. Hopefully this recent finding by the UK's University of Birmingham will heighten awareness of this habit's downside.

Researchers had 8 of their 16 undergraduate student volunteers consume a 400 calorie lunch while watching TV, while the other half ate the same meal without televised entertainment. Later in the day, scientists had both groups participate in a snack tasting / meal awareness session. The TV watchers ate significantly more cookies than the other group, and had less vivid recollections of what they consumed for lunch.

The Bigger Picture: Why TV affects eating like this has yet to be understood. It may be that the constant bombardment of commercials, many advertising food products, impacts our ability to keep track of food intake. Whatever the reason, watching what you eat appears to be more easily accomplished when you aren't watching the tube. Try reading a book or chatting with friends or family during mealtimes for the next few weeks to see if you notice positive results.
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