Why do we watch YouTube whilst eating?

If you’re like me, you can’t remember the last time you ate a meal without simultaneously watching a form of mindless entertainment. It’s pretty much a ritual in my household.

The thing is, there are a lot of good reasons why watching something whilst eating is actually a really smart move. Even if you’re watching something dumb. There are also a number of potential drawbacks that might arise from doing so.

Dig in.

Why do I have to watch YouTube whilst eating?

It’s just more enjoyable to eat while watching something. It makes your dining experience feel less like a chore and more like a grand event to be looked forward to.

It’s one of the most common forms of multitasking. You can get in some entertainment while you’re doing something that’s good for you. It’s a win-win situation, right?

Lots of people (including me) have adopted this desire to be entertained whilst eating. It heightens the taste of food and makes the experience all the better.

The Drawbacks & Debate

The concept of watching traditional television whilst eating has been discussed and researched for decades. In fact, experts have not recommended watching TV whilst eating for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons include:

  • It can lead to binge eating
  • It can cause improper chewing
  • It distracts your brain from ‘mindful eating’
  • It can lead to co-dependence

Numerous studies have linked eating whilst watching TV to obesity and overeating. The general idea is that whilst your brain is too heavily focused on taking in information from the television, it forgets to remember how much you have eaten. When this is the case, you’re much more likely to eat more, as your brain is instructing you to do so.

Of course, previous studies haven’t really considered YouTube. YouTube is still a relatively new concept. Now we can choose exactly what we want to watch, on-demand. YouTube videos can be short or long. Whether this is worse than watching traditional TV whilst eating remains to be seen.

It’s ultimately up to you whether you want to ditch the habit completely or not. Sometimes it’s good to be alone – just yourself and the food. See how your mind wanders. Remember what it feels like to eat in solitude. You might be surprised.

When you shouldn’t watch YouTube whilst eating

For social occasions and holidays, it’s a good idea to put your phone and/or laptop away and really enjoy the food that you’re eating. Be in the moment and savour it. People and memories can’t be replaced. Food and YouTube videos can.

There’s no urgent need to watch YouTube whilst surrounded by family. That video isn’t going anywhere.

Also, it’s probably best to not watch YouTube when you’re out on a date or at a restaurant with friends. That’s just strange.

Final Thoughts

This is something of a cultural phenomenon that I’ve wanted to talk about for some time. Again, research is heavily documented on the effects of watching TV whilst eating – but not yet for YouTube or social media.

I’ve always been the type of YouTube viewer to watch YouTube whilst eating alone. Seemingly, I’m no different from anyone else. Take a look at Twitter or Reddit and you’ll see various threads and memes about the inability to eat without finding something equally good to watch.

I’d love to know your thoughts on watching YouTube whilst eating. Please leave me a comment below!

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