How harmful is eating and drinking on Tet holiday?

Eating out of control with the mentality of “release gas once a year” can lead to health problems such as weight gain, acid reflux, and sleep disorders.

According to experts, signs of binge eating are feeling too full, full stomach, belching, esophageal reflux. The use of digestive drugs or loosening the waist sometimes does not make the feeling of discomfort, hangover disappear. This habit can have long-term health consequences.

Normally, nerve endings on the stomach wall are responsible for sending signals to the brain when the stomach is full. But this process can take about 20 minutes. Overeating occurs when a person consumes more food than the stomach can hold, before the brain can warn to stop eating.

In addition, the human body gradually adapts to binge eating by releasing dopamine, a natural pleasure chemical that encourages eating more.

“So even if binge eating causes abdominal pain and discomfort, you continue to eat more. This is the cause of an eating disorder or addiction,” said Professor Elizabeth Hartney, director of the Center for Research Research and Health Leadership at Royal Roads University, Canada.

The stomach is a J-shaped muscular pouch that flattens out almost completely when empty. When filled with food, the stomach has a volume of about 4-5 liters, with a diameter of 10 cm. “The empty stomach is about the size of an average apple. The distended stomach is the size of a cantaloupe,” said Dr. Lin Jinlin, a consultant at the Department of General Surgery at Changi General Hospital. .

Traditional dishes of Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Photo: NY Times

Contrary to popular belief, stomach size is not related to gender or body weight. It does not atrophy when a person is on a diet. When the stomach expands too much, the body no longer feels full with normal amounts of food.

If a person overeats, the leftover food and acid will back up into the esophagus, causing reflux, leading to involuntary vomiting as the body tries to relieve the discomfort.

Digestive organs like the pancreas and small intestine also have to work harder. This can strain the digestive system, causing symptoms like indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea.

Besides, the excess calories loaded into the body during Tet make many people weight gain. Only one week of uncontrolled eating, the body will store bad fat. Many people eat indiscriminately, use an excessive amount of red meat on average, and eat the equivalent of a month’s worth of glutinous rice flour in just 10 days of Tet.

According to the website of the University of Texas MD Anderson Center, regularly overeating can affect sleep.

“The circadian clock controls your sleep cycle, causing levels of sleep and hunger hormones to rise and fall throughout the day. Overeating can mess with this rhythm, keeping you up at night,” the website says. note.

Overeating habits also affect general health, causing diabetes and colon cancer. This phenomenon occurs when a person eats too many calories, according to Dr. Lin.

To prevent overeating during and after Tet, experts recommend determining the portion size before sitting on the tray, instead of eating too much. “Eat until you’re full, about 80 percent, because our brains need time to transmit the feeling of fullness,” says Dr. Lin.

He also encouraged people to practice mindful eating, eat slowly, and drink water before, during and after meals. People should avoid sweets, desserts and excessive alcohol consumption.

If you overeat, don’t fast for later meals or starve yourself for the rest of the day. Research shows that a one-meal-a-day diet increases levels of hunger hormones, raises blood sugar, and slows insulin response.

Instead, experts recommend people go for a walk after a meal. Physical activity helps stimulate peristalsis of the stomach and intestines, preventing bloating and discomfort after eating.

Thuc Linh (Follow CNA)


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