Is our screen time effecting our eating habits? (She says, typing away!) 16-24 year olds are now spending more times on screens than they are sleeping! So is this exponential increase in screen time effecting our eating habits and hygiene?
Light Cues: Affect the length and quality of our sleep, and sleep hygiene goes hand in hand with appetite control and food consumption.
Cue Stimulus: Advertising from TVs and social media has been shown to increase the intake of high dietary fat and sugar, particularly in obese and overweight children aged 2-14yrs, with children now being exposed to 12hrs of food advertising every day, even following advertising restrictions!
Satiety Cues & Distraction: means that we are less likely to know or listen to when our bodies are actually full. Those who ate lunch whilst watching TV were found to actually have eat more in the afternoon and visa versa. This is because if our mind is distracted whilst we’re eating we don’t undergo ‘memorisation’ of eating so basically our minds forgets what we previously ate & we become hungry sooner
Displacement of physical activity: NICE guidelines on the prevention of excess weight gain actually suggest reducing leisure screen time & TV viewing
Stress: Cutting out Facebook use for 5 days has been shown to significantly reduce cortisol levels and physiological stress! Which, through our gut-brain axis can actually alter our gut function and digestion
But, it is not all doom and gloom!
- Focus on increasing your physical activity & getting outside more rather than sitting on the sofa
- Try to use a classic alarm clock rather than a phone so you’re not tempted to scroll through insta first thing in the morning
- Reduce screen time before bed, or at the very least use the night-time setting on your phone to reduce blue light output
- Try to limit screen time overall. The new iPhone setting is a scaremongering resource if you need help with this one!