Real Life Wellness: What happened to my bag of chips?

By Bill Hemmer
Last week I started talking about the effect T.V. has on your nutrition. The first effect is it molds your perception and opinions as to what is good for you to eat and second it allows you a mental escape and allows you to get lost in the sounds and images. If you don’t think food advertisers know this is true, watch the Super Bowl. Food companies, soft drink companies, beer companies and drug companies will make up the vast majority of the commercials. Why? Because millions upon millions of people will be watching, and it gives these companies a chance to further their effect upon you, the viewer.

This effect is important because T.V. has a Real Life effect on anybody who has ever watched it. Scientific research journals, higher education, doctors, nutritionists, other healthcare providers all have a much less effect on the Real Life opinions and attitudes towards nutrition than T.V. does. Why? Because T.V. is on everyday, and you watch commercials everyday, and this information is fed to you day after day so you tend to believe it.

So why did I title this article, “What happened to my bag of chips?” I did this to describe the second major effect T.V. has on your nutrition. You have a tendency to overeat if you are watching T.V. at the same time. Many studies have shown if you eat while watching T.V. you will eat more than if you are not watching T.V. The reason is your brain is being stimulated by the T.V. more than the stimulation coming from the food you’re eating, so you just keep eating.

Your brain has a control center in it called the “I’m full and I don’t want anymore” center. This control center is turned on when your stomach is full, and you have had enough to eat. But when you watch T.V. this control center is basically turned off or at least turned way down and you just continue to keep eating until you become stuffed. Of course, this is never good!!!

So, this is where that bag of chips went! You sat there watching your T.V. and mindlessly putting chips into your mouth as you watched. Then out of the blue the bag is gone. Then you think, “there is no way I ate all of those chips, it must be those aliens again!” Well, let me tell you, this is Real Life. I have this exact fight with my children all of the time. But what the heck do I know, “they said it was OK to do it on T.V., Dad!”

Next week I’m going to discuss another Real Life topic that is sorely misunderstood when it comes to your personal health. Good days and bad days. Everybody has them, but how often are they taken into account in your fitness and nutritional plans? I’ll talk more about that next week.

Leave a Comment