Skip main navigation

Distracted Eating

We introduce the concept of distracted eating.
Picture of cheerful hangry young man eating pizza while sitting on sofa and watching TV.
© Storyblocks
Have you ever launched into eating a plate or container of food while you were thinking about something else, such as watching a movie or talking on the phone and then looked down only to wonder what gnome or fairy came and stole your food?

This is distracted eating, which is defined as the intentional consumption of a meal while engaged in a secondary activity to the extent that the significance or memory of the meal is diminished or forgotten entirely.

While you will still receive the nutritional benefits of the meal, you may feel ripped off in that you didn’t really experience and enjoy the meal. This kind of eating can lead to overeating as you lose track of what you ate or eat more to get the same enjoyment. Consuming your meal in a more aware or mindful way will help you the next time. Artwork: Someone eating while doing something else.

© University of California, Riverside
This article is from the free online

An Introduction to Nutrition and Healthy Living

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now