Is Your Smart Phone Hurting Your Health?

Endless swiping and scrolling can have a big effect on your diet and overall health.

An Asian woman with smiley face holding and using smart phone while eating brownie on wooden table in cafePhoto: Shutterstock/Farknot Architect

It seems like we carry our smart phones everywhere, even to the dinner table. In fact, one-third of Americans included in a recent SWNS survey said that they can’t eat without their cellphones. But, eating and scrolling could actually have negative consequences when it comes to our health. Here are the most common issues that evolve from bad habits with electronics.

1. Mindless Eating

Just like when you eat in front of the TV or computer, using a device while munching on your favorite snack foods can lead to overeating because you’re distracted and can lose track of just how many handfuls of chips you’ve devoured. If you’re eating alone and just can’t stand to not be multi-tasking, try listening to an audio book or podcast so you’re not totally distracted.

2. Spreading Germs

Think about where your phone goes during the day: your bed, your kitchen, your car, your office, the grocery store and probably a multitude of other places in between. Your phone is actually 10 times dirtier than your toilet, and probably even more so if your phone is in the bathroom, too. With that in mind, it’s probably best not to reach for your phone while eating or cooking to help stop the spread of germs that could make you sick.

3. Disrupting Time With Friends and Family

It’s pretty widely accepted that smart phones sidetrack our attention, and it’s also largely considered rude and disengaging to be more focused on your phone than a conversation. A Pew Research Center survey found that an overwhelming 88% of participants found it rude to use a cell phone at the dinner table. So, in the interest of healthy relationships, put down the phone when you’re sharing a meal.

How to Use Its Power for Good

There are ways that your cell phone can actually help improve healthy habits. You can use apps to help count calories, track steps, monitor sleep habits and follow diet plans like paleo (what’s paleo?) and Whole30 (what’s Whole30?). There’s bound to be a way to incorporate your phone into your life in a healthy way, just maybe wait until after you’re done eating to use it.

Next time you’re sitting down to eat, whether for a quick breakfast or healthy family dinner, un-glue from your smart phone so you can eat first and track later.

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Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.