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Why eating while on the move is a bad idea

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, December 10, 2017  /  09:03 am
Why eating while on the move is a bad idea

When you eat on the move, food particles cannot be broken down adequately and thus remain in the alimentary canal of the digestive system, without being absorbed into the bloodstream. (Shutterstock/File)

It is not uncommon to eat while on the move, especially on days when we think we have too much to focus on. After all, it might seem like the most convenient and time-effective option, but what many of us fail to consider are the dire consequences this habit might have on our overall health.

It is not enough to simply eat healthy foods—one must also factor in the manner in which they eat. Read on to find out why it is advisable to sit peacefully and enjoy your meals rather than have them hurriedly on the move, as reported by Boldsky.

Stomach acidity

When you eat food, it travels through the esophagus into the stomach for further digestion. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a valve that links the esophagus to the stomach. Typically, the LES closes when food has entered the stomach, to prevent the contents of the stomach from rising to the esophagus.

If you constantly move while eating, the LES fails to completely close or remains open for prolonged periods of time. As a result, hydrochloric acid produced by cells that line stomach walls move up into the esophagus. This condition is referred to as stomach acidity and manifests itself through a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including bloating and heartburn.

An antacid such as calcium hydroxide or aluminium hydroxide might be required to alleviate these symptoms.

Read also: Eating fat meat common mistake in ketogenic diet, says nutritionist


Digestion involves breaking large food particles into their smaller constituents, so that they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually be utilized for energy.

When you eat while on the move, food particles cannot be broken down adequately and thus remain in the alimentary canal of the digestive system, without being absorbed into the bloodstream.

The consequences of indigestion include sluggishness, nausea and a growling stomach.


Bloating involves an increase in the diameter of the abdominal area caused by retention of fluids and/or disturbances in the movement of muscles in the digestive system. It results in an uneasy "full" feeling and abdominal pain.

Consider this the next time you’re late for work and think it might be a good idea to grab a snack to eat on-the-go.

Increased bladder movement

Although one would perhaps not give too much thought to the consequences of sipping coffee while driving to the office, it can induce increased bladder activity as a consequence of involuntary muscle contractions in the bladder.

This creates a frequent and urgent need to urinate, and symptoms are worsened by the intake of caffeine.

Read also: Five common mistakes Indonesians make when eating Japanese food


As aforementioned, the food we consume is to ultimately be used for energy production to enable body function. If the stomach is not given rest because of moving activity while eating, the body will not be able to break down large food particles.

If the body is preoccupied with other activities, the digestion and absorption of food are likely to be disrupted, resulting in nausea.

Gas formation

The formation and retention of gas are common problems linked to bloating and indigestion. Most cases of gas formation in intestines are caused by swallowing too much air. Symptoms include feeling uncomfortable and sluggish, and — in adverse cases — chest pain and mild strokes.

Taking your time when you eat and avoiding movement can help you swallow less air.

Over-the-counter supplements, such as activated charcoal, can alleviate bloating and the formation of intestinal gas.

Tendency to eat more

It is often observed that when a person eats while moving, the body ceases to carry out effective hormonal signalling to inhibit appetite when one is eating quickly while deeply engaged in other activities.

Overeating inevitably leads to bloating, the symptoms of which have been mentioned above.

If you’re worried about adding extra kilos to your waistline, try eating slower and without being preoccupied. (afr/kes)

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