Eating while watching television, or having a snack while playing a video game, how many times we do it without thinking about ... this habit, however, could have consequences on the body weight. In fact, as demonstrated by a very recent scientific research published a few days ago by a team from the University of Sussex (Morris et al, Appetite, Aug 2020), when our attention is captured by other activities it is easy not to understand when we are satiated.
Scientists have started from the results of previous studies, according which, when one is doing activities that fully engage the senses, the brain filters out some sensory information. Examples of such activities are movies with a lot of suspense, movies with audio and video effects, or video games. For this reason, the researchers wondered if the feeling of satiety could also be affected. 120 volunteers were therefore recruited. The study participants were divided into two groups. One group was asked to drink a low calorie drink, about 75 kcal, the other group a high calorie drink, about 272 kcal and with a much denser consistency. At the same time, the study participants were asked to do a highly engaging task or a less engaging task. Later, snacks were offered and the study participants could eat at will, in order to understand their ability to understand the level of satiety. The people who had received the most caloric drink and did the less demanding activity had consumed 45% less snacks offered later. Instead, those who had followed the most demanding activity had not been equally able to understand their level of satiety and had eaten many more snacks.
Therefore, the ability of people to understand when they are full depends on how much attention is "left" in the brain and therefore eating in front of the television can lead us to eat more than necessary.