Research: Television may lead to more consumption

Research DefinitionResearch Definition

Television may cause you to consume higher calorie intake.

Mindless Eating in front Television
Mindless Eating in front Television

Eating while doing something mindless such as television appears to increase the risk of over consumptions and obesity. It makes sense that the distration of one’s mind might make it more difficult to notice when you feel full. There has been some research in the past but said research has been very limited. The good news is that research from 2020 appears to continue to pile on the evidence support this theory​[1]​.

The basis of this theory is that your body needs time to register the full feeling and gthat if your mind is distratced by ,mindless activitied such as a television, you will not notice the sensation of fullness or satiety. This distraction will end with you being less likely to adjust how much extra food or drink you consume.

In the study, the researchers tested 120 participants by giving them lower and higher calorie drinks and giving them tasks which demanded both low and high amounts of their attention to detemine what effect the distrction would have on calorie consumption. The study revealed that participants who were fully engaged in a perceptually-demanding task ate roughly the same amount regardless of whether or not they were initially given a high or low calorie drink. But the people who were engaged in a task which demanded less of them could adjust how much of the additional snack they ate. The people in lower engagement group ate 45% less after the higher energy drink than after the lower energy drink.

The bottom line: This study suggests that if you’re eating or drinking while your attention is distracted, you will less likely to be able to tell how full you become and you will be more linkely to overeat. You will keep eating after your full and it will likely contibute to obesity or weight gain. I would recommeng that you not watch TV while you eat.


  1. [1]
    J. Morris, C. T. Vi, M. Obrist, S. Forster, and M. R. Yeomans, “Ingested but not perceived: Response to satiety cues disrupted by perceptual load,” Appetite, p. 104813, Dec. 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104813. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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