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Does eating at your desk leave you hungry?
It turns out that not only does eating at your desk lead to distraction and irritability, it actually leaves you hungrier than if you eat mindfully. A study was recently published at the University of Bristol, in which participants were asked to eat a lunch comprised of nine different foods, while playing solitaire on a computer; the control group ate without distraction. The study found that solitaire-players ended up more hungry and ate twice as much food following the study as the control group.
There have been numerous other studies showing that distracted noshing eats to overeating. Brian Wansink, the head of hte Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, gave a group of moviegoers free buckets of either a medium-size or a large-size bucket of popcorn on entering the theater. After the movie, participants who ate the large size were asked if they believed they ate more than those who had gotten the medium. Most respondents claimed that they had not. In fact, those who had the larger buckets had eaten 53% more, the equivalent of 21 more handfuls or 173 calories.
However, the research at the University of Bristol brings up a whole new issue: not only do we tend to eat more when we're distracted, but even if we decide in advance how much we're going to eat, we're likely to be hungrier if we eat it at our desk. It almost doesn't make sense. The fact is that the connection between our mind and our body is so strong that when we don't pay attention to what we're eating, and remember what we've eaten, our bodies are less likely to notice that we're full.
It's a cautionary tale for all of us! So today, when you have to make a choice of what to do midday, why not stand up, step away from your desk, and take back your lunch!
Leave a comment
Thanks for pointing that out, Marc. I made the change. As you said, still a very profound effect!
by Emily Pines
@ 2011/01/12 10:04:34 AM
You wrote: "The study found that solitaire-players ended up more hungry after eating twice as much food as the control." That's not quite what the article you linked to says. Here's a quote from the article: The team found those who played Solitaire felt less full after lunch. The effect was long-lasting as half an hour later the participants who played the computer game ate around twice as many chocolate biscuits as the non-distracted participants. END QUOTE From the article (don't have the original study), it sounds like both groups ate the same amount for lunch, but the solitaire players snacked twice as much a half hour later. Still, it's a very profound effect. Thanks for sharing!
@ 2010/12/17 11:20:03 AM