Gains in body weight over a number of years could be achieved through cumulative positive energy balances, as a set of habitual behaviors adopted by personal choice as a lifestyle. However, new research published in the International Journal of Surgery, April 2018, suggests that excessive habitual usage of a cell phone and early drinking (within 30 min) of water or other liquids after meals may be potential factors on the road to becoming overweight and obese. In addition, those using cell phones for social media and communication may be more vulnerable to weight gain, overweight, and obesity.
The research team looked at lifestyles as a cause of overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity have emerged as one of the most serious public health concerns of the 21st century, which is a predictor of remarkable morbidity and mortality. Gain in body weight over a number of years could be achieved through cumulative positive energy balances, as a set of habitual behaviors adopted by personal choice as a lifestyle, which should be interpreted as indicators for more general types of behavior, some of which may be important determinants of obesity and may facilitate effective preventive programs.
In literature, there are many well-known variables in lifestyle linked to overweight and obesity: sleeping duration, smoking, drinking alcohol, screen time, sedentary behavior or work, two or more childbirths, living alone, skipping breakfast, operating computer, eating fast foods, external eating, low self-esteem and low social support, stress, posttraumatic stress, unhealthy customs and unhealthy types of foods, lack of physical activities, and low education achievement, and paradoxically to be an university students.
Many papers conclude the importance of alterations in these habits, like sleeping 7-8 hours, eating breakfast almost every day, avoiding eating between meals, help in maintaining a desirable weight with respect to height, participating in active sports, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding smoking cigarettes, health-conscious behavior, physical activity, and a higher intake of nuts are associated with reduced weight gain and a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Web-based health behavior change programs may be more successful in the area of weight management than in many other health-related areas. Adequate coverage is important for weight management in Web-based health promotion programs, as a driver to continue participation for overweight and obese people.
Less than half of the patients had a TV in their kitchen, more than half in both genders were eating while watching TV, while the majority of female patients and more than half of the male patients were eating while operating the computer, or eating using their smartphones were factors linked to over-eating, overweight, and obesity.
Especially young people spend a lot of time in front of their computers, playing games and browsing the Internet, but this does not involve physical effort; hence, there is no energy loss.
Recent research indicates that chewing behavior may influence energy intake and energy expenditure; the majority of the patients were not chewing food adequately, but a minority were chewing food adequately. Healthy chewing (moderate chewing around 25 times for every bite), give the patient feeling of bulk and lets them taste the food. It also creates a memory for the eaten food and it makes the consumer remember how much and what they ate. Remembering the last time they had food reduces or abolishes cravings for more food or soft drink. Those eating rapidly (up to 10 times chewing for a bite) do not really feel the bulk, taste, amount, and type of the last eaten food or soft drink; the memory of their last meal will be abolished, which will cause craving for food and soft drinks in-between meals, like fast foods and high energy drinks, ending in overweight and obesity, which is parallel to other studies. Most of the patients in both genders were drinking water within 30 min after meals.
Eating rapidly also results in inadequate chewing of the bite and forces the patient to drink water, juice, coca cola, and yogurt solutions to help swallow the un-chewed food. Drinking fluids with food will push the food down to the stomach and intestine faster; as a result, cravings for more food and drinks surface. Because of its larger volume, soup may cause greater gastric distension. Glugging water during meals severely hampers the stomach’s digestive powers and causes insulin levels to fluctuate significantly. Shonali Sabherwal, states that most Indians have water along with their meals. The usual theory is to wash down the food while eating.
The first handheld mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing c. 2 kg (4.4 lbs). In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first commercially-available handheld mobile phone. From 1983 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew to over seven billion, penetrating 100% of the global population and reaching even the bottom of the economic pyramid.
If we look back over the last 3-4 decades, we could deduce that overweight and obesity became epidemic years after the emerge of the cellphone, which may be an ignored factor in the cause of overweight and obesity. Many studies revealed that “Since the 1970s, the prevalence of obesity has increased throughout the U.S. adult population – among men and women of all ethnic groups, ages, and educational and socioeconomic levels.”
The obesity epidemic in the U.S. continues, and there is clear evidence that obesity rates are increasing in much compared to the rest of the world: “The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased substantially in all societies across the globe during the last 3 decades.” This may be linked with the industry of cellphones, first in the USA, then Europe, and for the last 30 years, all over the world.
These findings are described in the article entitled The lifestyles causing overweight or obesity: Based on 5 years of experience in two centers in Sulaimani Governorate, Kurdistan Region/Iraq, recently published in the International Journal of Surgery . This work was conducted by Hiwa Omer Ahmed, et al., from the University of Sulaimani and Sulaimani Teaching Hospital.