The Unexpected Dangers Of Jessica Biel's Controversial Eating Habits

Busyness has a way of creeping up on all of us. Sometimes, this means we're late to the gym. Other times, it might mean grabbing a quick lunch to have on the go. But for actress Jessica Biel, it apparently means eating in the shower. 

According to one of her first TikTok posts about this eating habit, the "Bleeding Heart" star shared that she loves to eat and drink "shower-appropriate items" in the shower. The celebrity, who's since posted a few more shower-eating videos on her social media, shared that this includes items like cereal, yogurt, coffee, tea, and popsicles. She's even posted a video of her consuming a blood orange (recommended by a fan) and having bites of a chicken salad which she called "pretty good". 

Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Biel confessed that she resorts to eating while showering as a way to save time because she's a busy mom. She was referring to her son, Silas, whom she shares with her husband Justin Timberlake, at the time, but the pair have since gone on to have another son, Phineas. "This is just mom life. I don't know if anybody else does this but I do not have time," shared the actress. "I'm feeding him in the morning, trying to get ready and I realize I haven't eaten, I just take it into the shower." 

Experts seem divided about this controversial eating habit which Biel has subsequently referred to as a "movement" for those who multi-task. Some have called it harmless while others have pointed out its possible dangers, chief of which has to do with hygiene.

Hygiene is a concern and so is choking

While you may not have to worry about fecal matter getting in your bowl of cereal (provided you're showering in a clean bathroom), there is still a small chance of microbial transfer from dripping hair strands to your food, per Penn State University food safety expert Martin Bucknavage (via TODAY).

Additionally, the shower environment — floor, walls, shower curtains, etc. — contains microorganisms. "Generally, the only part of our body that touches these surfaces are the bottoms of our feet. But if you are trying to negotiate handling food in the shower, you are likely to need to have more contact with these surfaces," he explained. If you're eating in the shower often, like Jessica Biel claims to do, there's a chance of food particles ending up on your walls or shower curtains. If you don't clean up thoroughly afterward, you're creating a space for bacteria to breed in. 

The celebrity has shared tips to apparently successfully practice this habit — like resting your food on a ledge, taking turns between bites of food, and returning to chew under the water with your mouth firmly closed to avoid taking in shower water. However, there's still a chance of choking, swallowing soap, or even slipping on spilled food. According to health coach Hannah Shine (via Pop Sugar), "Eating in the bathroom can increase the risk of choking and contamination. Instead, it is best to enjoy food in a designated eating area, such as the kitchen or dining room, to maintain proper hygiene and safety while eating." Perhaps we should just stick to the fitness routines Jessica Biel swears by

Shower eating may take away from mindful eating

Just like other unusual celebrity health habits that are actually harmful, Jessica Biel's call to embrace eating in the shower promotes multi-tasking to a point where you forgo the benefits of mindful eating

If you're feeling the need to take your bowl of cereal and coffee into the shower every day, just so you can multi-task while shampooing (watch out for soap in your food), it might be time to think about just how busy your life has become. As explained by licensed marriage and family therapist Alli Spotts-De Lazzer (via Psychology Today), it's time to slow down, shed some responsibilities, and ask for help or privacy. 

Learning to take your time and enjoy a meal, however small, at a designated safe space, while chewing mindfully, not only aids in better digestion and overall health but also helps you enjoy your food more. It should be probably noted, however, that eschewing celebrity-inspired shower eating doesn't have to mean that you don't enjoy a nice herbal tea or glass of wine as a way to unwind while in a lavender-scented bath. Relaxing with a beverage is one thing. Rushing through your meals as a way to save time is another. 

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