So, its Saturday afternoon, the only time I have that I can work on articles and research and prepare this blog and I’m deciding what to write about this week. Last week’s story about pushups didn’t elicit a flurry of comments, as did the one about treatment of calf cramps, how is it that most of you are not of strong opinion when it comes to pushups?
So, as I’m considering what you are really interested in reading about, I come across an article with suggestions for breaking habits, in this case mindless eating. So I read along, thinking, this is a good idea, many experts would say that mindless eating is responsible for our obesity epidemic, and I would agree that it is certainly a big factor. So what kinds of things can we do, to bring our eating habits under control?
The first suggestion is to eat a meal without sitcoms blaring in the background, as this may distract you from how much you’re eating. A study done by Harvard School of Public Health found that children who watched more television ate more calories, that adults who watched more than 2 hours of television daily were twice as likely to be obese, and typically, couch potatoes ate nearly 200 calories per day more than those who did not watch more than an hour of TV a day.
Well I guess I’ve been on another planet for awhile, because I was astounded that we needed a study, and a team of experts to tell us that eating in front of the television was distracting. How many of you out there make a habit of eating in front of the television? My mother would be rolling in her grave to consider such a rude possibility. To allow the mindless chatter of television to invade your family and personal space to the extent that it blasts away while you are partaking in the ancient ritual of breaking bread?
It is a fact of life that meals not only satisfy a nutritional need, providing fuel for the physical body, but also provide the necessary social exchange, the sharing of time and attention over a meal. Sitting down to a family meal, whether you are a family of one, two or ten, aids digestion, health in general and digestion in particular, and results in a feeling of satisfaction and fullness appropriate to the amount of calories consumed.
So how is it we need tips to entice the family to sit down together? How have we come so far from the family mealtime that it requires special planning and strategy to achieve on any kind of consistent basis? Do we need to be urged to make meals a family event, to turn off the television, to make meals a pleasurable retreat from the frantic demands of everyday life, to make it enjoyable? If you need these tips to entice yourself and those you care most about away from the television or computer screen, to put down their games and books and to share a pleasant friendly meal, please look for them, I can’t imagine a more bleak scenario than a society of people who don’t know how to sit down and eat dinner together on a daily basis.