Do you often grab a snack and start munching on it whilst standing? Here's why you must stop. According to a latest study, spending more time standing up and eating for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds. The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The findings revealed that the posture in which you eat plays an important role taste perception. The researchers said that the food tastes better when you are sitting down and eating it in peace.
For the study, researchers looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.
"This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes," said study lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.
The findings suggested that the force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, which further ensures that the heart works harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate.This action activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.
Through this chain reaction, your sensory sensitivity reduces, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.
Even minor discomfort can make 'tasty' food not pleasant to the palate, noted the study.
For the study, 350 participants were made to rate the tastiness of a pita chip. Those who were standing gave it a less favourable rating than those who were sitting in a padded chair.
They expanded the study by inducing additional stress and asked participants to try fruit snacks while carrying a shopping bag. Both sitting and standing participants reported the additional weight made the food item taste even worse.