FIT-P Tip of the Week: Avoiding Distracted Eating

SSG Charles Williams

Are You a Distracted Eater?

Would you consider yourself a distracted eater? To make it more relative would you consider yourself a distractive driver? Most people will admit that they use their phones, change the radio station, and/or deal with the kids while they are driving but do not consider themselves being distracted while driving. If you were to ask someone to describe a distractive driver they will often describe the exact things they do. Same concept goes with eating; people will admit that they eat in front of the TV or play on their phones while eating but they do not consider themselves distracted because they are aware they are eating.

A study was done by dividing people into two groups; one of the groups played the computer game solitaire while the other group consumed the same type of lunch without any distractions. The study showed there was a significant difference between the distracted and non-distracted group. The distracted group ate faster, couldn’t remember exactly what they ate, ate more snacks, and reported they felt less full.

I am sure we all do not consider ourselves distracted eaters just like we wouldn’t categorize ourselves as distracted drivers; but the study proves if there are any distractions going on while you’re eating, it’s affecting your health. If you find yourself snacking too much and/or eating a plate of food and not feeling full try to eliminate distractions. Even if you do not think any of the distracted eating side effects pertain to you, I challenge you to give it try and just see if you notice a difference.

Check out this article for more information.


Oldham-Cooper RE et al. Playing a computer game during lunch affects fullness, memory for lunch, and later snack intake. Am J Clin Nutr 2011 93: February 308-313.

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