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Each week on Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, explore different aspects of human behavior and the brain.

How On-The-Go Eating Takes the Fun & Flavor Out of a Good Meal

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Food can be delicious, heart-warming and life-sustaining. So, how did eating become a constant battle with the refrigerator?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Bob Duke and Dr. Arthur Markman discuss the challenges in maintaining a healthy diet and how changing our perspectives on food may be a vital approach to solving these problems.

The most vital concern in relation to food is obviously whether you have enough to eat. Once there is plenty on hand, however, society demands you look – and therefore eat – a certain way. Even people who are happy with their weight often struggle with whether they are eating a nutritious diet. Then, as the nation is being increasingly aware, an over-abundance of instantly available and often highly unhealthy food creates its own set of problems.

Another concern is time and how, in our society, there is the common belief that there often aren’t enough hours in the day as it is. Eating sometimes takes second place to work, our social lives and catching up on Netflix.

But, even as our knowledge of nutrition grows, many of the rituals and benefits surrounding eating a good, wholesome meal are supplanted by the need by many for a quick-fix to healthiness. With an increasing demand to be on-the-go, people often eat while multitasking or as a means of simply keeping themselves going.

These practices can lead people to eat more than their fill. If you’re not paying attention to your body while you eat, it can be very difficult to know when your full. It can also make the experience of eating less satisfying, leaving people psychologically hungry for more.

Another growing concern is the type of food that people are eating. We are becoming more aware of the types of food that are and aren’t healthy. Still, healthy and fresh foods are often much more expensive.

This style of eating promotes the on-the-go eating habits that can make maintaining a healthy diet very challenging. Pre-packaged foods often also have very high fat, sugar or salt contents. These foods are resources our body was evolutionarily designed to seek out, because they were originally nutrients we needed that were in short-demand. Now that we have constant access to them, their readily accessible form can lead to very unhealthy eating habits when combined with the on-the-go mindset.

Different people also have different challenges in maintain a healthy diet. The miracle solution for one person may not work at all for another person. However, developing a healthier perspective about food and finding the time to savor what we eat is advice most people can appreciate.

Rebecca McInroy is an award-winning show creator, host, and executive producer for KUT, KUTX, and KUT.ORG.
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