Tuesday November 12, 2019

Media Multitasking Can Be Associated With Risk of Obesity

The team measured proactive behaviours of compulsive or inappropriate phone use (like feeling the urge to check phone for messages, while talking to someone) as well as passive behaviours like media-related distractions that interfere with your work.

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The participants underwent an fMRI scan during which researchers measured brain activity, while people were shown a series of appetising but fattening foods' images. Pixabay

Do you keep switching between digital devices like smartphone, tablet and PC? Beware. A study has linked media multitasking to obesity.

The study showed that mindless switching between digital devices could be associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may cause weight gain.

“Increased exposure to phones, tablets and other portable devices has been one of the most significant changes to our environments in the past few decades, and this occurred during a period in which obesity rates also climbed in many places,” said lead author Richard Lopez, postdoctoral candidate from Rice University in the US.

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When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, the part of the brain dealing with food temptation became more active, said researchers. Pixabay

The research, published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behaviour, included 132 participants aged 18-23 years.

The team measured proactive behaviours of compulsive or inappropriate phone use (like feeling the urge to check phone for messages, while talking to someone) as well as passive behaviours like media-related distractions that interfere with your work.

The findings showed those with higher scores were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and greater body fat percentage.

social media
The study showed that mindless switching between digital devices could be associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may cause weight gain. Pixabay

The participants underwent an fMRI scan during which researchers measured brain activity, while people were shown a series of appetising but fattening foods’ images.

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When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, the part of the brain dealing with food temptation became more active, said researchers.

Lopez said it was important to establish such links given the rising obesity and prevalence of multimedia use. (IANS)

 

Next Story

Study Reveals, Genetics Can Affect The Way in Which One Tastes Food

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019

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Genetics
Genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice. Pixabay

Genetics make certain compounds taste bitter, which may make it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet, according to a new study.

“Your genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice,” said study author Jennifer L. Smith from University of Kentucky.

According to the researchers, everyone inherits two copies of a taste gene called “TAS2R38”. People who inherit two copies of the variant called AVI aren’t sensitive to bitter tastes from certain chemicals.

Those with one copy of AVI and another called PAV perceive bitter tastes of these chemicals, however, individuals with two copies of PAV, often called ‘super-tasters,’ find the same foods exceptionally bitter.

“We’re talking a ruin-your-day level of bitter when they tasted the test compound. These people are likely to find broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage unpleasantly bitter; and they may also react negatively to dark chocolate, coffee and sometimes beer,” Smith said.

For the study, researchers analysed food-frequency questionnaires from 175 people (average age 52, more than 70 per cent female) and found that people with the PAV form of the gene were more than two and a half times as likely to rank in the bottom half of participants on the number of vegetables eaten.

Bitter-tasting status did not influence how much salt, fat or sugar the participants ate.

Genetics
Genetics make certain compounds taste bitter, which may make it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet, according to a new study. Pixabay

“We thought they might take in more sugar and salt as flavour enhancers to offset the bitter taste of other foods, but that wasn’t the case,” Smith said.

“Down the road we hope we can use genetic information to figure out which vegetables people may be better able to accept and to find out which spices appeal to supertasters so we can make it easier for them to eat more vegetables,” Smith added.

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The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 — November 16-18 in Philadelphia. (IANS)