Multi-tasking with electronic devices, such as our smart phones or computers, has become common behavior in everyday life, and increasingly occurs during consumption of food. Such “distracted eating” has been shown to cause overeating, is associated with increased BMI, and with increased choices of palatable foods. However, it is unclear how distraction increases food intake. This study aimed to assess how distraction affects motivated, goal-directed responses for food reward after satiation.
Mechanisms that help to control food intake are important for maintaining a healthy weight. Cephalic Phase Responses (CPRs) are considered to be the first phase of digestion and include physiological responses to food-related cues such as the thought, smell, sight, and taste of food.
Greater oro-sensory exposure (OSE) increases insulin responsiveness. In contrast, pancreatic polypeptide responses are stronger when OSE is reduced and the eating rate (ER) is fast. Insulin and PP responses may mediate the independent effects of OSE and ER on food intake. These may be beneficial eating strategies, particularly for type 2 diabetic patients, to control food intake and maintain glucose homeostasis.
Oro-sensory exposure duration and taste intensity were manipulated using model foods. In this Project ‘Satiation’ study, increased oro-sensory exposure duration decreased meal size, and increased taste intensity did not affect meal size. Microstructure of eating behavior characteristics may explain differences in intake.
Eating when distracted is associated with increased food consumption and is a risk for becoming overweight. Project 'Satiation' found that distraction-induced decreases in neural taste processing contribute to individual differences in the susceptibility for overeating. Being mindful about the taste of food during consumption could perhaps be part of successful prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity.
Chewing is a normal part of eating behaviour. Its function is to break down food into smaller particles and mix them with saliva in preparation for swallowing and digestion. So why do people chew substrates that are apparently dissociated from eating?
There is a growing body of literature which suggests that oral health and mastication can influence cognitive and systemic health during aging. However, it is currently unclear whether oral health, masticatory efficiency, cognitive health and systemic health merely deteriorate independently with age, or whether mechanisms exist linking mastication to cognitive and systemic health directly. In a recent paper published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, Jon Day and colleagues review the extent to which reduced mastication influences cognitive and systemic health during aging.
A paper co-authored by Jon Day has been published in the journal Ageing Research Reviews. The review aims to summarise the current state of knowledge of vulnerabilities that predispose towards dysfunctional brain ageing, highlight potential protective mechanisms, and discuss dietary interventions that may be used as therapies. A special focus of this paper is on the impact of nutrition on neuroprotection and the underlying molecular mechanisms.