Do you usually touch your phone while you eat? The habit, quite common nowadays, can be a great villain for health, according to research published by the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA). According to experts in the Health Science Department, making meals distracting with technology can make you eat 15% more calories than needed.
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The study followed 62 adult men and women who underwent two situations on four different days. Sometimes they were distracted by their smartphones and sometimes not. In this context, the levels of stress, chewing performance and frequency, swallowing, gender, amount of calories ingested and Body Mass Index (BMI) were evaluated.
Researchers say using a mobile phone during meals may have a negative impact on health. Photo: Luciana Maline / dnetc
In either case, people could choose what to eat. Among the options, high and low calorie foods, ranging from sodas, sweets and fried foods, to natural yogurts, salads and fruits. The conclusion was that when they were distracted with their cell phone, volunteers opted for less healthy meals, with higher fat and sugar levels. In addition, the amount of calories ingested increased by 15%, especially among older men.
Despite the harms, technology can indeed be a great ally of health. And, in this fine line between bad and good use, nutritionist and professor at the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Ronimara Santos, draws attention to the details that go beyond mere distraction.
She points out that advertisements that appear while consuming content on the Internet can have a detrimental impact on health in some cases. "Who was never wandering the infinite line of any application and was influenced by an unmissable sponsored offer? Or playing on the phone when a fast food ad appeared? Or even, distracted talking when you received a free delivery message from a meal you Don't you have to? "he teases.
Ronimara also stresses that the industry and food marketing use technology a lot as a way to promote, sell products and influence people. "Everything you do on social networks ends up, in some way, being used to sell. And the consumer needs to be aware and trained to choose the healthiest options. This part that the essential nutritionist," he advises.
Experts warn of consequences of overuse of social networks Photo: Tainah Tavares / dnetc
The expert argues that it is possible to prevent the use of technology has a negative impact on health by scheduling the time spent on it. "Wonderful technology helps us in many ways and makes life a lot easier, this is undeniable. But it also involves us in spending useless times that could be avoided," he explains. Ronimara argues that just as we have habits and routines, I need to plan when to watch television, use social networks, play games, and so on. "There are functions in the phone itself that control the time of use of the device and warn you when you exceed the planned time," he says.
Another point quoted by the nutritionist is the influence of smartphones at rest. "The so-called blue light of the cell phone before bed changes hormones, such as melatonin that is critical to sleep quality," warns Ronimara.
But letting go of technology when eating or exercising, for example, can be a very complicated task for some people. Social networks, video messaging, photos, games and everything the internet offers can all hinder concentration.
For Ronimara, smartphone addiction can be controlled by creating new habits. "We are not born with mobile, we learn to live glued to one. But we can also learn not to be dependent on it," encourages the nutritionist, who shares some strategies to help those who want to improve their habits and take care of health.
- Turn off all notifications on your device: sounds, banner messages, and those app notification numbers. They attract you even without you realizing it. For example, you are studying and a new message arrives. Naturally you will check. When you least realize it, you'll be watching your mother's publications at the mall. Everything was made to involve you.
- Change your home screen and put the apps you're least interested in: bank app, calendar, calculator, notepad, etc. Leave those favorites on the following screens. So you do not risk going to look at the time and be opened by the messaging app.
- Turn on your phone's Sleep feature to let you control incoming calls at dawn and at night.
- Take a test and search your phone for the time tracking function. You will be amazed at how much time you spend on your phone.
- Change your thinking: urgencies will be resolved with calls. The rest can wait. Learn how to devote time off screen life
At dnetc's request, Ronimara pointed to apps that can help lead a healthier life. Look:
HeadSpace is an application for meditation. In my opinion one of the best, but the user needs to be used to English, as he has no Portuguese version yet. For those who don't have much English language practice, there is also Lojong.
Unbinding One of my favorites! He helps when choosing the products in the supermarket. This app has a list of foods registered and rated from 0 to 100 according to the amount of sugar, salt, trans fats, chemical additives and processing level. You can search for the product by name or scan the barcode. It also shows the ingredient list and the nutrition table. In the premium paid version, you can customize foodscore, restrict allergies and / or ingredients, and use search filters.
Trello This one for the forgotten. It is an app that helps in personal organization and therefore in life as a whole. You can register to-do lists and you can even add guests to join these to-do lists.
About apps for diet calculations, diet logging and calorie counting, Ronimara says he doesn't recommend it. "I believe these applications make users very used to value the calories. In this sense we forget to analyze the quality of food, which is much more important than just how many calories the meal has," he justifies.
Creating new habits may not be an easy task. Therefore, nutritionist Rafaela Caruso advises: "Stop for a moment and think more about yourself and your health." In addition to focusing on food, the professional indicates that the phone is not used during physical exercise. "It is essential not to get carried away when you are in the body or training itself. You may end up making a wrong move and consequently injuring yourself," he warns.
Rafaela also encourages the technology to be used for health through simple changes, such as avoiding apps that can take the focus off. "Discount fast-food applications, for example, induce you to spend little on a non-nutritious meal, have low fiber content, high caloric and sodium value and so on," he exemplifies.
On the other hand, she continues, there are apps that can help change habits, whether eating or even lifestyle. For example, physical exercises that can be practiced at home and that send notifications to remind you to drink water. "However, always remembering that not everything can be done on their own. We should value the Physical Education professional, because he who knows what exercises are necessary for each one and how to perform them the right way, as the Nutritionist is the only professional. able to prescribe a proper eating plan and geared to their individualities ", concludes.
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