Modern sedentary activities promote overconsumption of food in our current obesogenic environment

Obes Rev. 2011 May;12(5):e12-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00772.x.


Achieving body-weight stability is certainly challenging in today's obesogenic environment. Every day we are surrounded and affected by stimuli that act on our behaviour. A common feature of these stimuli is that they increase our comfort and well-being, but unfortunately they promote a positive caloric balance. Intriguingly, the preponderance of sedentary lifestyles is not only a matter of the amount of calories expended. A careful examination of modern sedentary activities reveals that they also promote overconsumption of food. This is particularly the case with television viewing, video game playing, cognitive working, music listening and short sleeping. Moreover, the increased food intake in the absence of hunger observed with the practice of these modern-life activities emphasizes that the hedonic value of food intake plays an important role. These observations suggest that our quest for reward and pleasure is not fine tuned to our biology, and the development of coping strategies is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Eating*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Environment*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Television
  • Video Games