A study has found that individuals who switch between digital services tend to gain weight. The study printed within the journal ‘Brain Imaging and Behavior’ has unconcealed that media multitasking is related to redoubled susceptibleness to food temptations and lack of self-control, which can end in weight gain.
“Increased exposure to phones, tablets, and different moveable devices has been one of the foremost vital changes to our environments within the past few decades, and this occurred throughout an amount during which obesity rates conjointly climbed in several places,” aforesaid Richard Lopez, the study’s lead author.
“So, we wanted to conduct this analysis to work out whether or not links exist between obesity and abuse of digital devices, as captured by people’s tendency to interact in media multitasking,” Richard Lopez aforesaid.
The analysis was conducted in 2 components. Within the first half, 132 participants between the ages of 18 and 23 completed a form assessing their levels of media multitasking and distractibility. This was done using a newly developed, 18-item Media Multitasking-Revised (MMT-R) scale.
The MMT-R scale measures proactive behaviors of compulsive or inappropriate phone use like feeling the urge to examine your phone for messages while you’re talking somebody else moreover as additional passive behaviors like media-related distractions that interfere together with your work. The researchers found that higher MMT-R scores were related to higher body mass index (BMI) and a greater share of body fat, suggesting a potential link.
In the follow-up analysis, seventy two participants from the previous study underwent “an fMRI scan,” throughout which the researchers measured brain activity whereas individuals were shown a series of pictures. Mixed in with a spread of unrelated photos were footage of savory however finished foods.
When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, researchers determined redoubled activity within the part of the brain addressing food temptation. These same study participants, who conjointly had higher BMIs and additional body fat, were conjointly additional probably to pay time around campus cafeterias.
Overall, Lopez aforesaid these findings, though preliminary, counsel there are so links between media multitasking, the risk for fatness, brain-based measures for self-control and exposure to real-world food cues.
“Such links are necessary to determine, given rising obesity rates and therefore the prevalence of multimedia system use in a lot of the trendy world,” he said. Richard Lopez and his fellow researchers hope the study will raise awareness of the problem and promote future work on the subject.