Minimize GI symptoms with good posture

First_aid_sqThere are many reasons why I look forward to the weekends, and the NY Times Sunday crossword is one of them. I usually flip to the end of the magazine ignoring what’s in between (then I look at the puzzle for five minutes before being reminded that I am not particularly good at crosswords).

At any rate, this past week I decided to flip through the pages of “The Work Issue” and stopped at a spread of photos of working men and women eating their lunches at their desks, an occurrence apparently referred to by social scientists as “desktop dining.”

I love learning about what people eat, but what stole my attention in these photos was how these people were eating. In most cases they were hunched over with their necks forward and their heads up.

As a nutritionist specializing in gastrointestinal issues, I’ve learned that how you eat is as important as what you eat.

Eating too quickly, not chewing your food and poor posture are just a few behaviors that can determine how well you tolerate a meal.

Seeing these people bent at the waist staring at their computer screens while eating greasy pizza and high fiber salads invoked visions of trapped gas, heartburn, reflux, abdominal pain and poor digestion.

How can a gastrointestinal tract effectively digest, absorb, and get rid of what it doesn’t need or want when it’s crushed and squeezed? It can’t.

Unfortunately we live in a world where “desktop dining” might be unavoidable, but at least we have the ability to control how we eat.

Eating slowly, chewing food well, keeping portions small, and maintaining good posture can help minimize unwanted gastrointestinal symptoms as well as undesired weight gain.

Click here to see photos or read the full article “Failure to Lunch”.

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