On March 16th, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by the Donders Institute at the University of Ladbergide in the Netherlands found that if you are distracted when you eat, it may affect the taste of food because the brain is less efficient in handling the taste of food.
Previous studies have shown that distractions when eating, such as eating in front of a TV, can cause you to eat more and start eating earlier after eating. But the corresponding brain mechanism is still unclear, so researchers at The University of Ladberg analyzed the effects of distraction on the taste of the brain.
Taste is determined by two regions of the brain. The brain island is located deep in the outer grooves of the brain, covered by the frontal, top and temporal lobes, and is responsible for handling the initial taste;
In the study, 41 healthy subjects drank chocolate milk while performing computer tasks and scanned their brains with mr. MRI. The subjects were randomly assigned tasks that caused different degrees of distraction, and then analyzed how the two brain regions responded to the taste of chocolate milk.
The study found that when subjects were distracted while eating, the two areas of the brain responsible for taste processing were less efficient at communicating. In addition, the researchers found that reduced brain island activity due to distraction was associated with participants eating more later.
But not all of the participants showed a decrease in brain island activity, so the effect varied from participant to participant. This may be because people are differently sensitive to the effects of distraction on taste.
The researchers say the study found a link between food taste and people overeating and the brain due to distraction, which may improve the way it treats binge eating.