A Good Meal: The Science of Savoring

The Huffington Post:

There’s nothing I like more than sharing a good meal with friends and family. I like everything about it — the shopping for fresh ingredients, the chopping and cooking, and most of all, the mindful savoring and good conversation at the table.

If I have time.

Which I don’t many days, and I confess that on those days, dinner is often as not a salad or sandwich on my lap, as I watch NCIS reruns. I know this is a bad habit, but it’s just easier not to fuss.

A lot of people are opting out of traditional meals in this way. Indeed, one study says that more than half of Americans’ meals are now eaten in a room with the TV on. This trend has been taking place for some time, and what’s more, we are also eating a lot more fast food than ever before, which means much more salt and sugar than we really should be eating.

And that’s just what they found, and describe in an article to appear in the journal Psychological Science. Whether the taste was sour or sweet or salty, the more preoccupied the volunteers were, the less intense their tasting experience was. As a result, they consumed more — or, in one experiment, concocted a sweeter version of lemonade to satisfy their sweet tooth. In short, taxing the mind led to more, and less healthy, eating.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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