Don’t like your meal? Stand up and eat to make it ‘tasty’
When we stand up while eating, gravity rushes the blood to flow towards the lower parts of the body.
Jun 13, 2019 / 12:52 PM IST
A new study has come to the conclusion that just standing up while eating our food changes the way it tastes.
The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research. It revealed that our posture while eating can really dictate the way we perceive a taste. The researchers arrived at the conclusion on the basis of the responses of our sensory system.
Simply put, our body’s vestibular sense enables us to gauge our posture, spatial orientation, balance, and equilibrium, which in turn helps us make better sense of our surroundings. Similarly, what influences our perception of flavour and taste of food is the gustatory sensory system. The researchers studied the dynamics of both these senses and inferred that this was the outcome of a chain reaction.
So, when we stand up while eating, gravity rushes the blood to flow towards the lower parts of the body. This, in turn, makes the heart work harder and faster than usual to ensure that the organs in the upper part of the body get enough oxygen. This increases our heart rate, which sets off the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis.
Reacting to this, the concentration of cortisol, the stress hormone, increases in our body. It mutes our taste buds and numbs our senses. The way we perceive the taste of our food and beverage, as well as the consumption volume, gets affected in the process.
Interestingly, for the same reason, foods that are “tasty” are not perceived so when consumed on the go. So, if you want to savour the taste of something, do not stand and eat.
The researchers used a sample of 350 participants to conduct the study. Each one was asked to eat a salty pita chip, either while standing or sitting. They found that those who were standing while eating found the chip less salty than those who were seated.