Watch the News, Lose Some Weight

Released: 2-Sep-2014 12:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Cornell University
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Newswise — Can watching dramatic television make you fat? Yes, according to a new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine. The study finds that fast-paced television programs might lead people to eat twice as much food.

“More stimulating programs that are fast paced and include many camera cuts, really draw you in and distract you from what you’re eating,” said lead author Aner Tal, post-doctoral researcher at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. “They can make you eat more because you’re paying less attention to how much you are putting in your mouth.”

In the study people snacked on chocolates, cookies, carrots and grapes while watching 20 minutes of different television and movie genres. Those who watched an action movie ate almost twice as many snacks – 98 percent more – than those watching a news talk show.

“The good news for action movie lovers, is they can choose to eat healthy foods while watching their favorite shows,” according to co-author Brian Wansink, Professor of Marketing and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, “Take advantage of this!”

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.

Media note: A short video explaining the research, as well as an informational graphic and additional details about this research can be found at, http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/OP/watch-what-you-eat


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