Technology plays an essential role in making life more convenient and easier. The use of technology has improved life in the aspect of transport, communication and entertainment among others (Sparks, 2011). Some of the technological products include cell phones, computers, televisions, washing machines and the internet.
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Using computers or cell phones, one can easily deliver a message to another person without necessarily having to meet them face to face. On the other hand, technology has made life more difficult for some people especially due to its influence on the change in lifestyle, eating and health habits (Sparks, 2011).
Despite the internet acting as a tool for interaction between people, it has created a wider gap when it comes to social interactions, as well as negatively affected peoples’ personalities. This is mainly attributed to the use of social media and the internet, whereby, people have lost the true meaning of personal interactions (Sparks, 2011).
This has also negatively affected peoples’ eating habits, for example, when people eat while watching TV. This habit has been found to distract an individual’s attention while eating thus it reduces their sensory experience, a factor which could also lead to overeating (Bijlefeld & Zoumbaris, 2001).
Research has indicated that due to the burdening activities and divided attention between eating and using a technological device, one will need to take more quantities of a certain food to experience an optimal taste. This is relevant to the current society where multitasking is very common, especially among the youth, leading to unhealthy eating habits (Bijlefeld & Zoumbaris, 2001). It is, therefore, advisable that one turns off the television while eating or stays away from the computer when taking any meal so as to enjoy the meal.
During the 19th and the early 20th century, it was a common ritual for families, especially those in the middle class, to eat dinner at home together every evening. This has, however, changed over the recent past mostly due to the increased use of technology.
One of the factors resulting in to this difference is in the case of the television, for example, where some of the family members prefer watching television before taking meals while others take their meals while watching television, thus distracting their attention from the other family members. Family members are also likely to take part in other activities like using the computer and other gadgets while eating other than spending their time with the other members.
Additionally, playing smartphone and computer games has also been attributed to unhealthy eating habits. Research has indicated that people who play these games are likely to eat more than those who do not while other individuals have been reported to eat less.
One’s attention is likely to be captured by the gadgets at the expense of the meal they are taking. Excessive game playing and use of gadgets like phones could also lead to increased cognitive demands, blood pressure and heart rates and in turn lead to mental stress (Bijlefeld & Zoumbaris, 2001).
Online ordering of food has also been attributed to unhealthy eating habits, which may be unsafe for consumers. Most people with tight schedules prefer ordering their food online rather than cooking it themselves. These foods could cause harm to the consumers, who in most cases are not sure of the ingredients used to prepare them, and that may pose a health risk (Bushko, 2002).
These large quantities of food could also contain harmful ingredients that could affect consumers’ health (Wilson, 2012). It is advisable for people to prepare their meals themselves since they will be sure of the nutrients and ingredients included. Food and Drug Administration bodies warn consumers against buying meals over the internet, with regard to the safety of these foods.
Most people do not know exactly what they consume. Most of these products have most likely not been checked for safety or effectiveness thus they may contain harmful and unapproved ingredients (Bushko, 2002). This is despite the fact that the websites from which they are sold may look professional and legitimate.
The excessive use of technology has also been linked to obesity (Wilson, 2012). People who play computer games have, for example, been said to eat larger quantities of food to replace the calories burned when playing these games.
They are also likely to prefer more fatty and sugary foods as compared to taking healthy meals. Lack of exercise and physical activity are also major factors leading to obesity besides taking the fatty and sugary foods. On the other hand, however, the playing computer and video games has been said to help users burn more calories.
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As mentioned above, food supply from most of the online sites is questionable on the ingredients included. Most of these foods contain chemicals and other substances that are not disclosed on the ingredients’ label. Consumers should be keen to read the details on the nutritional information label on the products they consume (Cuthbertson, 2009).
Additionally, due to the increased use of technology, more artificial and chemical ingredients that could be harmful have been invented and used in meal preparation. It is; hence, important to distinguish between the good/ healthy and bad/ unhealthy components in the food supplied.
The good components are the nutritious components that benefit one’s health (Cuthbertson, 2009). Measures should also be taken by the Food and Drug Administration bodies to inspect the foods produced by the online foods producers before it gets to the consumers. The sale and consumption of contaminated foods has also been a cause of the widespread illnesses and chronic diseases.
Taking a healthy diet and having regular exercise is important for the wellbeing of every individual as it helps in increasing energy and promoting good health. One of the main benefits of diet and regular exercise is controlling weight and maintaining weight loss (Cuthbertson, 2009). When one exercises, he or she burns excessive calories that may cause obesity. Exercise could be in form actual workout or taking up house hold chores.
Diet and regular exercise also play a vital role in combating diseases such as diabetes, stroke and depression. This is because it helps in improving blood flow in the body (Cuthbertson, 2009). Exercise also helps in improving one’s moods and in boosting ones energy. A good diet entails taking a variety of foods that contain all the nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and fats in the right quantities (Cuthbertson, 2009).
Technology in the future, if properly embraced, can be used in enhancing food production in terms of quality and quantity (Bushko, 2002). The use of technology can more highly increase the quantities of food as compared to manual production. It could, therefore, be used to create a sustainable food system for the growing population with the declining quantities of natural resources.
Technology could also be used to improve the quality of food if appropriately used. Additionally, the technological advancements could be used to reduce the time consumed in preparation of meals through the production of healthy instant meals that do not require much time in preparation (Bushko, 2002; Sparks, 2011).
Bijlefeld, M. & Zoumbaris, S. (2001). Food and You: A Guide to Healthy Habits for Teens. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Bushko, G. (2002). Future of Health Technology. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Cuthbertson, J. (2009). Nutrition: The Importance of a Healthy Diet. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Sparks, G. (2011). Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview, 4th ed.: A Basic Overview. Connecticut: Cengage Learning.
Wilson, B. (2012). Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat. New York: Basic Books.