Researchers Identify Links Between Digital Devices And Obesity

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Media multitasking is related to food temptations and reducing self-control which results in greater risk of being obese.

A team of researchers conducted a study at the Rice University which concluded that switching between smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices is linked with increased food temptations and reduced control over self-actions resulting in obese body type. In the recent past, scores of people have been addicted to digital devices and in this particular duration the graph of obesity has climbed up.

The research study was divided into two parts, in the first case 132 people aged between 18 to 23 years took a questionnaire test to assess their multitasking activities concerning media and level of distractibility. The tests were conducted under Media Multitasking-Revised (MMT-R) scale which is capable of measuring the compulsive behavioral patterns, inappropriate or passive behaviors such as the urge to check the phone repeatedly or scrolling through social media feeds while working. The team of researchers concluded the greater the MMT-R scores, the higher the body mass index and more percentage of fat levels in the body, suggesting obesity. In continuity with the process, 72 people from the prior test underwent fMRI scan measuring brain activity of the participants as they were shown a number of pictures with a few glimpses of mouth-watering fattening food.

When the participants were shown images of fattening food, the researchers observed increased activity in the sphere of brain dealing with temptation of delicious food. These participants had more body mass index, body fat and spent more time around eatery places. Thus, the overall research study claims links between media multitasking and increased risk of obesity. The team hopes that this conclusion will help raise awareness, thereby changing addictive habits of people.

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