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Using technology while eating may reduce intake of food

Being distracted by technology during mealtimes may reduce the amount of food a person eats, nutrition scientists suggest. The findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition. When 119 young adults consumed a meal while playing a simple computer game for 15 minutes, they ate significantly less than when they ate the same meal without distractions, said lead author Carli A. Liguori. Participants' food consumption was evaluated on two separate occasions - one day when they played the game while eating and on another day when they ate without distractions. The game, called Rapid Visual Information Processing, tests users' visual sustained attention and working memory and has been used extensively by researchers in evaluating people for problems such as Alzheimer's disease and attention-deficit disorder. The results suggest that there may be a difference between distracted eating and mindless eating. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, Liguori hypothesized that they may be distinctly different behaviours with nuances that need to be explored.