More people working at offices are choosing to eat meals at their desks, making “desktop dining” an increasingly common phenomenon. Previous studies have reported that environmental distractors, such as television viewing, can influence meal intake and subsequent snack intake. However, the impact of stressful mental tasks on eating behavior has received relatively less attention, focusing only on subsequent meal intake or concurrent snack intake. This study sets out to determine whether eating while working influenced current meal energy intake. This research also examined the relationship between dietary restraint status and energy intake. A crossover experimental design was employed requiring participants (14 males and 29 females) to eat pizza quietly and at rest (control), and while working on a computer (work). Measurements included BMI, energy intake, state anxiety, restrained eating behavior, stress levels (pre- and post-eating), and appetite (before and after both work and control sessions). The findings showed that consuming food while working on a computer significantly increased stress but had no influence on energy intake compared to the control condition. However, post-eating hunger levels were significantly higher in the work condition compared to the control condition. As expected, satiety levels decreased significantly from pre- to post-eating for both work and control conditions. In addition, no significant relationship was observed between restrained eating behavior and energy intake in both work and control conditions. These results suggest that eating while working affected satiety of normal weight participants, as indicated by the significant difference in post-meal satiety levels between work and control conditions.
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