TV watching and your memory
Television deadens your brain in many ways. With just an hour or two per day, you un-learn how to pay attention. Few people watch it with the critical part of their mind. It has direct access to the sub-conscious. It dumbs us down - there's no need to remember names and places, yet it's still easy to follow the story. It teaches us all to think the same.
You are likely to eat more meals, of much poorer quality if you watch TV, because of all the junk food advertising. But can TV cause you to eat more later on, as well?
Yes, research shows that TV can directly affect your diet. (1) A study showed that people who ate lunch while watching TV did a lot of extra snacking during the afternoon, including a high intake of cookies (biscuits).
One reason is that memory becomes impaired. In the study, a group of women had lunch whilst watching a comedy show. When they were later asked what they had had to eat, their recollection was fuzzy. They had lost their critical appraisal of exactly what they had eaten, and how much.
This memory effect is in addition to the obvious effects of food advertising.
The lesson here is the same one that longevity sages have been teaching for a thousand years. Take time to focus on your food. Pay attention to what you are eating, and whether it feels and tastes good or not. Eat slowly, and chew and savour every mouthful.
1. Television watching during lunch increases afternoon snack intake of young women.
Higgs, S., Woodward, M., Appetite 2009 Feb;52(1):39-43.