New study finds that your phone is making you gain weight

The study used 26 men and 36 women that were given a tray of food and then were asked to eat under three different test conditions. 

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Well, this may get you to put down your phone. A new study published in Physiology & Behavior finds that being distracted by your phone can lead to weight gain and even obesity.

The study used 26 men and 36 women that were given a tray of food and then were asked to eat under three different test conditions.


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With the first they used their smartphone while they ate, in the second they ate while reading a magazine and in the third, they were eating and weren’t allowed to look at their phone or a magazine (the horror.)

Phone potato

Guess when people ate more? When they were looking at their phone or the magazine. It actually increased their caloric intake by 15% as compared to the non-distraction eating scenario. In other words when you have your phone in your face all the time you are distracted and don’t pay attention to how much you are eating which leads to a higher amount of consumption.

“The role of memory in eating behavior has been increasingly pointed out, showing that lack of food memory or having some memory impairment such as amnesia can increase caloric intake,” the researchers said.

In addition to becoming binge-watching couch potatoes where we consume many calories we now can be a distracted chair-, desk- or even mobile- potato that eat too many potato chips. This just adds to the myriad of ways our phone is bad for our health and careers.


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Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.