Eating standing up could do more harm than good

Eating while standing at a bar or kitchen counter can have undesirable effects. Although it seems like a harmless act, and there are those who believe that it could burn more calories, the position could have a fundamental role in digestion.

Many people are encouraged to move away from a sedentary lifestyle as it can promote obesity, diabetes and poor health in general, but how does this apply to the realm of diet, i.e. with regards to digestion ? Could chewing standing up help?

can relieve reflux

For some people, standing while eating can help relieve symptoms of acid reflux, one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints. Acid reflux occurs when increased pressure in the stomach causes stomach contents (including food, acid, and digestive juices) to back up into the esophagus. This causes symptoms such as a burning sensation in the middle of the chest (heartburn) or in the throat, a sour taste in the mouth, and belching, among others.

And the risk of acid reflux increases when we lie down after eating. That’s because, in this supine position, food and acid can easily flow from the stomach into the throat, which is at the same level. In contrast, eating standing up puts less pressure on the stomach. That means burning reflux is less common in this eating-while-standing scenario, which translates to less acid reflux and heartburn.

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can cause gas

Still, eating standing up can have some detrimental effects on digestion. For example, it can cause gas and bloating. When we stand while eating, blood pools in the legs, due to gravity, and this decreases adequate blood flow to the intestine where it is needed for digestion. This will cause poor digestion of carbohydrates, which can lead to gas and bloating.

Also, standing while eating means eating faster . But eating at the speed of light increases your chances of swallowing more air, which can also contribute to gas buildup in your stomach. Also, eating faster can cause us to overeat for a number of reasons. First, eating standing up is often followed by movement, which promotes faster digestion and can make you feel hungrier sooner.

Also, when we eat quickly and standing up, we are also more likely to be distracted. And when we don’t focus on food or savor every bite, chances are we feel less full. So the more time you have to chew your food, the less likely you are to overeat.