London: Eating at your desk makes you far more likely to snack later in the day, say scientists.
The researchers from the University of Bristol were studying the ways in which memory and attention influence our appetite.
They asked one group of participants to eat a lunch that comprised nine different foods while playing Solitaire - a computerised card-sorting game.
They gave a second group the same lunch but provided no distractions.
The researchers found that those who played Solitaire felt less full after lunch.
The effect was long-lasting as half an hour later the participants who played the computer game ate around twice as many chocolate biscuits as the non-distracted participants.
At the end of the test session, the distracted participants also found it more difficult to remember what order they had eaten the food items provided for lunch.
The scientists said their findings showed that distraction during one meal can lead to increased food intake later in the day, which could have a significant impact on obesity.
“When people think about memory, they think about remembering shopping lists and people’s names and things like that,” the Daily Mail quoted lead author Dr Jeff Brunstrom as saying.
But the reality is that memory helps us without even thinking about it. It helps us remember how to walk to work and we are trying to suggest it affects appetite,” Brunstrom added.