Mindful eating and careful chewing of the food are slowly missing out of context in the present day scenario where we enjoy eating while watching TV. Media has a huge impact in many ways and in India certain news channels are popular for highlighting issues without sparing emotions. It is pretty common for anyone to involve, participate and become emotional by going along with the flow while watching anchors like Arnab Goswami.

I would like to share a real-time illustration. A young couple visited my hospital for consultation during which the lady took over the conversation while the husband remind quiet wearing a patient smile. He has been suffering from discomfort in the upper part of the abdomen, burps on and off, constipation and flatulence. Being an engineer, he leaves home as early as 7:00 am and reaches home by around 8:30 pm. Naturally he reaches home hungry and picks up anything available to eat. This would continue with dinner followed by fruits, typically his eating spans for 90 minutes. He earnestly and enthusiastically watches Arnab Goswami and keeps eating something or the other through-out. It is needless to mention that he takes the debating program pretty seriously and exercise his emotional rights whenever necessary. All of it ends with Arnab concluding the show, he then heads towards his bed. His wife and others eventually have to deal with the orchestra of farting and different unpleasant noises for the rest of the night. Yes, it’s a serious concern which has nothing to do with Arnab. There is a lot to be considered in terms of eating habits, especially when television is involved in the process.

Avoiding TV Hazards – 

For all the justifiable reasons, TV is aptly called as an Idiot Box and it continues to be one. In this scenario, the gentleman’s problem is that he doesn’t chew his food properly while he focuses a lot on the TV show rather than healthy eating. As a result of it, he also gained 12 Kilos in just two years. It is good to be aware of the TV Hazards that are often being ignored.

TV is unduly projected as a devise for entertainment and cool time pass which is not the case in reality. In the context of eating, most of the time people including kids and elders prefer to eat while watching the TV. It’s a huge distraction that also negatively affects digestion, leading to various issues related to gastroenterology. It is better to avoid watching television at least while eating which is both healthy and time saving.

  • A study published in the JAMA Network Journals, found that televisions, particularly those with action and sound, are bad for the waistline as viewers eat more while watching action films than those watching an interview programme.
  • According to the researchers, viewing TV encourages sedentary lifestyle just like other distracting activities such as reading, listening to radio and interacting with companions during meals.

Why chew food? 

It is often told that chewing food enhances health, but are there any credible scientific reasons behind that notion? Yes, there are quite a few convincing reasons that support such a notion.

  • Firstly, chewing well leads to easy digestion and helps a person maintaining healthy weight. It is possible because more nutrients and energy is absorbed which is also enhanced by more exposure to saliva.
  • Chewing is also a better exercise to the teeth and the anchoring bones.
  • Chewing also helps in balancing the bacterial activity in the intestine; excess bacterial activity is required for digestion if food is swallowed in a complex form which leads to other gastric complications.
  • On a lighter vein, tasty food is to enjoy and cherish which is possible only by careful chewing.

Expert advice about proportionate chewing and mindful eating – 

  • Chew in smaller bits, slowly and in timely intervals.
  • Chew completely, swallow it and then go for another bite. Do not take fluids before swallowing the food.
  • Eat only when hungry because hunger is not the only trigger.
  • Have a set and scheduled time to eat food and ensure that same is chewed well.

The gentleman who came for consultation along with his wife could realize the significance of healthy and mindful eating apart from discipline in terms of chewing his food. He followed the expert advice and as a result, he is now a happy husband. His family is also happy along with him and there is absolutely no restriction about watching his favorite shows on TV, just that healthy eating is given a better focus.

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