Food is divine and the love for eating is omnipresent. Sitting on the floor and eating meals was the unwritten law followed in earlier days. With the advent of dining tables and chairs the concept of sitting down on the ground for a meal has almost vanished from our culture and even kids hesitate to take a seat on a mat considering it to be below their dignity. But as we progress into a super-fast world where even time for a healthy breakfast is lacking our outlook on the way we eat also keeps changing. Its not new to see young adults rapidly gobbling up food (cooked with love and affection by their moms) on their way to college or office. Where is the time for them to sit down at the table with their family and finish breakfast before heading out? Its almost unimaginable as kids and adults these days finish their food on the go in a standing position. I agree that standing has become the latest trend-standing at work, standing while talking over the phone or even standing and having meetings. But haven’t we heard our moms and grandmas plead with us to take a seat, eat the food and then proceed with our VIP work? Alas, have we ever paid heed to their golden words? Never!
But now, we have a new study that proves that food tastes better when we are sitting down. The study focused on how the vestibular sense that’s responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation interacts with the gustatory sense that controls taste and flavor. Researchers confirmed this by recruiting 350 participants who rated the tastiness of a pita chip either in a standing or sitting position. It was observed that those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those sitting in a padded chair. Again, the researchers provided the participants with bite-sized brownies at a restaurant which they commented to be delicious, especially by those who were sitting down. The baker was told to add an extra serving of salt to make the brownie taste unpleasant. Again, when both the sitting and standing participants were served with the salted brownie those standing found it to be much tastier than previously compared to those who were seated. The standing participants couldn’t even decipher the change in taste in the brownie served as they were in a standing posture. On a lighter note, maybe its time for parents to make their children eat healthy, tasteless foods in a standing position! Or even consume your bitter medications while standing!
The same participants were made to taste fruit snacks at a grocery stop with handful of bags. This created additional stress which made those standing and sitting to report negative comments on the fruit snacks. Hot cups of coffee served made those standing lack much insight into the steaming nature of the beverage but led them to reduced consumption of the same compared to those sitting. Maybe, eating while standing can lead to reduced consumption and increased weight loss? But of course, there is increased stress placed on the heart making it to pump more blood. Standing position causes stress muting taste buds-that’s because, there is more focus placed on the stress hormone cortisol which decreases sensory sensitivity decreasing taste perception and in turn, overall consumption. If you are interested in knowing more about cortisol’s effect on our body please visit www.firsteatright.com. Folks, its better to sit down and have a meal patiently than to rush with it in a standing posture. After all, we earn to live well and what’s there to life than eating a peaceful meal that provides us with health and nutrients for a good quality of life?
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.