Sitting down in front of a screen to enjoy a meal: a temptation to which many succumb, sometimes even daily. Captivating series, continuous news or entertainment on social networks… entertainment is at your fingertips. However, behind this harmless habit hide harmful consequences for our physical and mental health.

Eating in front of a screen: a compromised sensory experience

Far from simply capturing our attention, screens distract and monopolize it entirely. Sounds, images, characters invade our senses, numbing our taste buds and our stomach in the face of a delicious meal.

Communication is broken, the eater hypnotized by the screen. Gérard Apfeldorfer, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, specialist in eating disorders, confirms that: “Screens are objects that are as fascinating as they are hypnotizing. By capturing attention, they prevent eating mindfully, that is, feeling taste sensations.”

The plate, mouth and belly receive no attention. Eating is no longer a pleasure but an automatism.

Manipulated quantities, a distorted perception

Researchers from Montpellier University Hospital conducted a study on the perception of satiety. As part of this experiment, participants received a bowl of soup, either 500 ml or 300 ml. However, unbeknownst to the participants, the scientists modified the quantities served to some of them. Two hours after the meal, participants were asked about their feeling of hunger. Surprisingly, those who thought they had eaten the largest amount of soup (the 500ml), although this was not the case, reported being less hungry than those who had received the 300ml. Indeed, eating in front of a screen deprives us of the feeling of satiety.

Absorbed by screens, we no longer perceive the signals from our body indicating that it is time to stop. The direct consequence? Excessive quantities ingested and increased risk of being overweight.

Increased risk of obesity

A study conducted by the University of Bristol in 2012 showed that consuming meals in front of a screen leads to greater weight gain. Researchers found that the memory of a large meal prevented hunger from returning more quickly. The distraction generated by the screen prevents us from enjoying our food and perceiving the signals of satietypromoting involuntary overeating.

Eating is not just about filling your stomach, it is above all a moment of sharing with family or friends. The screen interferes in this family exchange and harms the communication of values ​​and traditions which make a meal rich. Mealtimes are ideal opportunities to connect with loved ones. Take advantage of these moments to chat, laugh and create memories together.

To preserve your digestive health and fully enjoy your meals, choose moments dedicated to tasting, without digital distraction. Sit at the table in a calm environment, savor each bite and listen to your body’s signals. Your stomach will thank you!

Anya El Hamdaoui


May 6, 2024, at 5:19 p.m.

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