In today’s episode of “Bad News to Our Waistlines”, science has just found that our cellphones could be making us gain weight. To get specific, it’s the type of light being emitted from our cellphone screens that’s at fault and not our dependence on Postmates and GrubHub at 3am—although I suspect that could play a role.
This scientific study from the University of Strasbourg and the University of Amsterdam was presented earlier this month at a conference in the Netherlands. The study was based on the premise that blue light from LED screens found on our phones, laptops, and tablets have an impact on the areas of the brain that regulate appetite. The retinal sensitivity to these kinds of lights causes our bodies to send a message to our brain telling us to consume more sugar.
The study specifically looked at the effects of blue light exposure on diurnal rats (that are awake during the day and asleep at night, like humans—as opposed to regular rats, who are nocturnal). The rats were exposed to the blue light at night for one hour. The day after exposure, the rats were given options to choose between rodent food (standard, nutritionally balanced), water, lard, and sugar water. After the nights with exposure to blue light, the rats consumed more sugar compared to nights with no exposure. The light also seemed to alter their glucose tolerance.
There are a few things to consider. Because the rats were all males, the scientific study does not show if the outcome would be the same on female rats. The rats were also only tested on for one night, so we have a very short time period to work with. If these effects were repeated, then over time, the rats would experience weight gain and develop diabetes with exposure to blue light. Still, even given the limited scope of the results, the authors of the study recommend limiting the time spent in front of screens at night, using night mode on devices, and/or using blue light filtering goggles to lessen the impact of LED lights on our appetite.
Now while this study was conducted on rats, I do think the results send a message of the impact electronic devices have on our human bodies. The recommendation of limiting screen time and using blue light filtering apps and goggles make a lot of sense, not only in terms of appetite control, but also because previous studies have shown blue light impacts quality of sleep. There are more studies on the internet on blue light’s effects on sleep, so I did further research. I was able to discover that the shorter wavelengths in LED light affect our bodies’ ability to produce melatonin, which is the sleepy hormone. To connect the dots further, melatonin also directly effects weight gain/losses, in that it helps your body regulate leptin and adiponectin hormones. These two hormones regulate your appetite. So while the original study suggests that the appetite change is due to blue light affecting the appetite-regulating part of our brain, it could be possible that the blue light is also disrupting our bodies’ ability to create essential hormones.
Our parents and grandparents used to read a book (real, not electronic) before bed, whereas nowadays we’re scrolling through IG until we’re close to passing out. Turns out, they were on to something. Personally, I’m terrible at staying off the phone immediately before bed and immediately upon waking up. I am constantly laying down, reaching for my phone, which evidently is not the healthiest habit. With all this research on the negative impacts blue light has on our health, I will definitely be making a conscious effort to step back from the phone. Will you be lessening screen time with me? Sound off below, I would love to hear your thoughts!
Images: Giphy (2)
Being dead inside is an art. And sure, you’ve been perfecting it basically since the day you were born. I mean, who doesn’t remember the first time they put on an all black ensemble and thought, “Yes. This is me now.” But what should you do on the rare occasion when you want to express emotion? Like, one minute you’re going through your day, giving zero fucks and being devoid of all feelings, and then suddenly your friend tags you in a meme that makes you feel…dare I say…alive? For the rare moments that make your grinch heart grow three sizes, here are the emojis you should use to convey your momentary experience of human emotion.
Use this emoji when you want to convey a level of laughter beyond “haha” and “lol.” Like, sure, you could just say “crying,” but will your friend really get the visual without tears streaming out of the eyes of your cartoon avatar? Save this one for when your run across a fire meme, or when a friend hits you with some amazing gossip that actually made you almost display emotion on your face while you were reading it. Not that you would ever actually do such a thing. WARNING: Some people overdo this emoji and end up looking like a psycho. Keep it to 1-3 of these little guys in a row to avoid seeming like the type of person who thinks everything is funny, and not the modern-day Wednesday Addams that you are.
Heart Eye Face
Every once in a while, someone will send you something that actually makes your cold, black heart start to beat again. 9/10 this will be a photo of a dog, preferably wearing some kind of an outfit. In these instances, the heart eye emoji is not only appropriate, but necessary. How else will your fuckboy know that the gif he sent you of a Corgi doing pilates worked and he has permission to ask you to come over later?
One of the dangers of using the internet is that you will often encounter something so horrifying that even you, a woman who watches 10 dark AF Netflix documentaries a day and feels nothing, will be moved to say “omg.” In these instances, the screaming emoji is 100% appropriate. Remember though, only use this for really horrifying stuff, like that photo that’s been going around of a colon full of 3 years worth of poop, or literally anything Trump does.
Smiling Devil Baby
Every once in a while —and I mean once in a while—you’ll find yourself in a very particular mood and actually want to spend time with people, usually with the aid of copious amounts of alcohol. Usually this will happen on a random summer night when your allergies aren’t keeping you indoors, or a day where you wake up with great skin and want everyone in the world to know. It’s one of those days where you wake up win the morning and immediately think, “I’m gonna get fucked up tonight.” In order to properly convey this mood in your group chat, send a little smiling devil emoji with a “Who’s going out tonight?” attached. Your friends will immediately know that tonight will be one for the history books and start faking a cough in front of their boss so they can call out sick tomorrow.
Let’s face it, even you can get heated sometimes. Like when when you thought Bachelor in Paradise wasn’t happening, or some old man in the Senate is trying to make your birth control mad expensive. Sure, you could use a series of all caps tweets to convey that you are, in fact, yelling, but what if you want people to know that you are both yelling and clapping? If you’re actually being moved to emotion, you know that you’re choosing your words carefully. So why not emphasize them by placing a clapping hand after every.single.word?
You spend most of your life in a daze of not giving a fuck, rolling your eyes, and feeling vaguely sleepy. Chill. But what happens when you like, actually want something to happen? Like for the custom swimsuit you ordered to arrive in time for your Hamptons trip, or for there to be food at the party you’re going to later? In these cases, it’s time to invoke the help of the Lord by using the prayer hands emoji. It’s literally the same as actually praying. I think. I honestly haven’t been to church in years.
Much like blacking out at the pregame, having a dead phone is one of the fastest, most effective ways to ruin a night out. Between taking pictures of yourself, sending screenshots to the group chat and trying to figure out where TF your Uber driver is, you’re (literally) not getting anywhere with a dead phone. And for those of you who think you don’t need a phone to have fun, stop lying and acting like you’re not scrolling through Seamless on your way home from the bar trying to find a place that will deliver General Tso’s Chicken at 3am.
For most betches, solving the dying phone epidemic is much more complicated than simply bringing a phone charger with you. Sometimes, you can’t fit it into your clutch. Maybe you can’t find it because your roommate thinks you two have joint custody over it. Perhaps you can’t trust anyone at the pregame not to unplug your phone and charge theirs instead. (Literally get away from me with your “Well I’m only on 18% and you’re on 38%” argument. IT’S MY PHONE CHARGER.) Most likely, you just don’t want to be that betch who pulls her long-ass phone charger out of her bag and is searching for an outlet in a stranger’s apartment or worse, harassing the bartender to charge it behind the bar. It’s just not a good look. Here are a few genius products you can buy to charge your phone on the go/find an excuse to buy more shit.
1. Sonix Bisous Pick Me Up Charger
This portable charger is way easier to fit into a small wallet or clutch than a clunky Apple charging cube. Plus, it comes in a ton of actually cool prints, so you don’t have to deal with the typical “are you sure that’s not mine?” roommate scuffle. It gives your phone 16 hours of additional battery life, which is pretty great considering you’ll probably pass out well before that.
2. Everpurse X Kate Spade New York Zana
This leather Kate Spade crossbody has a built-in charger so you can be a shady betch and charge your phone in your bag without anyone else seeing.
3. Mophie Juice Pack Air
Phone case selection is a sacred process to any betch because the way you dress your iPhone says a lot about you. For example, strapping a battery pack to your phone says “I am so busy and popular that my phone is literally always dying, you should feel honored that I’m even paying you any attention at all.”
4. Rebecca Minkoff M.A.B. Charging Wristlet
With a little charging port, this wristlet provides another way to charge your phone without having to stand next to a wall like an idiot. On the downside, you do have to hold the flaps of the wristlet open if you want to use your phone while it’s charging, which is kind of a bad look, but it’s Rebecca Minkoff so it’s okay this one time.
5. HButler Mighty Purse Fringe Phone Charging Crossbody Bag
HButler is a company that basically makes stuff for betches who can’t keep their shit together, which is the nicest thing anyone’s done for us since the invention of dry shampoo. In addition to vegan (aka fake) leather bags with chargers in them, HButler makes a tiny Bluetooth device that lets you track your keys or phone. It also works as a camera remote so you can take selfies. Hashtag blessed.
6. Ban.Do Mobile Charger
This tiny iPhone charger eliminates the whole “lightning cable” mess. Although loving things just because they’re tiny and pink is pathetic, I’ll admit that this charger is weirdly adorable.
7. Tory Tote Charger Key Fob
Since you’re probably already hoarding like, five different key cards for gyms you no longer attend on your keychain, you might as well add this Tory Burch key fob that also charges your phone.
8. HYPER Pearl Compact Mirror Battery Pack
Built perfectly for a narcissistic betch who appreciates a decent mirror with LED lighting that can double as a selfie enhancer, the HYPER Pearl compact mirror is also a portable charger so you never have to worry about having to interact with anyone after your phone dies. It comes in several chic colors so like, get more than one and you can choose which one to use based on the color of the purse you’re wearing that day.