Our weight depends on the food we consume and the physical activity we perform. If you haven’t realized how technology impacts your diet and physical activity, then you should pay attention to it by now. Since modern technology gained popularity, our screen time has increased exponentially. Right from school or work to entertainment, we use our devices a lot. Several studies have been conducted, and it is found that increased screen time causes obesity. This problem is found, not only in adults but also in children. Mostly, the people who are obese in their adulthood were more likely to be obese in childhood. Today we will learn how technology leads to obesity and what we can do about it.
Problems caused by increased screen time
Increased screen time has caused many problems. People who spend more time using technology have more fats in their bodies. Similarly, people who spend less time using their screens, comparatively have lower fats. Most of the time, binge-watching and binge-eating go hand in hand. How often do you feel the need to eat while watching something on your screen? Very often. Most of us feel this way. By the time, our series or movies end, we already have a pile of junk food packets and a heap of empty energy drink cans. What do you think will be the consequence if we keep repeating this? It will lead to obesity, which can cause potentially serious health issues. We saw how increased screen time can cause problems, now, let’s look at the exact ways in which it creates problems.
How technology causes obesity
The technology era has changed our lives significantly. Previously, we did more manual jobs that included physical activity. It made us tired but kept us fit at the same time. People used to commute or go to places via walking or cycling. It helped them to maintain an active lifestyle. Now, most of the tasks are performed using technology. Physical activity has reduced drastically. There’s no need for walking and cycling anymore. We have automotive vehicles that take us to places without us having to use our energy.
Following are the ways how technology leads to obesity.
Earlier, when technology was not that popular, children used to go out and play. There were more outdoor activities. Now most of them are glued to their devices playing games. Even adults choose screen time for entertainment. Instead of an active lifestyle, most of them are living a sedentary lifestyle because of technology. All these increases the risks of obesity and other serious health issues. If we continue to live this lifestyle, then with time we will only be able to burn few calories, which in turn will result in weight gain. This will also negatively impact our body’s metabolism. And, our body will face difficulty in breaking down sugars and fats.
It’s crucial to take care of our eating habits. People don’t realize what and how much they eat while using their devices. They are distracted by what they are seeing on their screen. And, technology is the most important tool for advertisers. They use this medium to alter people’s eating habits. You are more likely to see ads related to unhealthy foods and beverages on your screen. This tempts you to purchase more of them, and eventually, you end up increasing your calorie intake. These food products are mostly low in nutrition, and when they enter your body, you experience weight gain. Also, have you observed that when you are watching something on your screen, you are so engrossed that you don’t realize you are full, and then still end up eating more?
Screen time messes with our natural sleep cycle. Our body produces cortisol in the morning to give us a signal it’s time to wake up and produces melatonin when it’s time to go to bed. But, if we keep using technology till late then it delays the process of producing melatonin which leads to disturbed sleep. This causes hormone imbalance, and you feel the need to overeat, which increases your weight. We need sufficient sleep, and when our sleep cycle is disturbed due to screen time, our body produces hormones that make us feel more hungry.
What you can do about it?
If you find yourself in such a situation, then first thing, try to reduce your screen time. You can do so by tracking the time you spend on screen and looking for ways to limit it. This will help you to control your screen time and use it only when you need to. There will be lower risks of obesity as you reduce the amount of time you spend on technology. You see lots of low nutrition food advertising, you can reduce your exposure to such content. In this way, you won’t be tempted to purchase unhealthy foods and beverages. Also, try to limit eating when you are occupied by your screen. This will prevent binge-eating, which leads to obesity.
We have discussed how screen time can disturb your sleep cycle, and in turn, make you feel more hungry. To deal with this problem, try to get sufficient sleep and eliminate screen time before going to bed. Once your body produces melatonin to improve your sleep cycle, the other hormones causing hunger are taken care of. When you get good sleep, you don’t end up overeating. You can also try to go outdoors more. And, you will see positive impacts on your health.
We learn to deal with the problems well, once we know what causes them and what options do we have to make things better. One such problem is obesity. If you think technology is a culprit in your case. Try to do something about it, instead of just letting things happen. You can make better health decisions that will help you lose weight and avoid potential health concerns. You can always start small by inculcating good habits. A few of the habits that you can follow are reduce screen time, stop binge-eating, get sufficient sleep, and do more physical activity. Try these, and you will see positive changes in your life.