CLEVELAND, Ohio– With social distancing comes more use of technology and far more screen time.
But screen time can undoubtedly affect the way you eat— impacting your overall health.
Being on your phone or watching tv while you eat has a significant impact on how much you eat.
Cleveland Clinic Psychologist and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Susan Albers says research shows screen time while eating can increase the amount of food you eat by 30 to 60 percent, “my motto is when you eat, just eat. It is fine to have a snack. Just turn off your screen, move away from the tv screen, and give eating all of your attention.”
Dr. Albers says this has a large impact on teenagers, and can quickly cause a ripple effect. “Eating, particularly for teenagers, while they’re on their screen increases the likelihood that they’re going to be eating more sugar and watching programs, watching tv and eating sugar at the same time is a hit of dopamine to your brain. This can be become very addictive, over time, and also impact their mental health, their health in general. So, teaching teenagers how to manage and moderate through eating is really important during this time.”
Dr. Albers says its important to get off the couch and to a table when we eat. She suggests setting a “snack spot” for your kids. A place without phones and tablets, “kids indirectly observing adults, being consumed by their phone is what is known as secondhand screentime, and it’s likened to secondhand smoking, that they are watching and absorbing your use of screen time. So one of the best things that you can do as an adult is to be a role model. Putting your screen aside while you eat while you interact with people and your kids, they’re going to do the same.”