Food News Today for Saturday October 4th, 2014

The problem with Food Ads. Do action movies make you fat?

October 4, 2014


The idea of most food images is to make you crave the product or dish...but what if that’s also ruining your enjoyment?  According to NPR, a recent study reveals that when participants perused dozens of pictures of food, they enjoyed the pictured snacks less when they finally were able to eat them!

Researchers came to the conclusion that stimulating tasting food with pictures can satiate the desire to actually eat similar foods. According to the study this satiation is also then why the first bite of something you've been craving is always tastier than your fifth or eighth bite.

The report, published at Behavior Lab dot org, explains that "If consumers see too many ads that cause such sensory simulations, the ironic effect could be a decreased enjoyment of the advertised food when it is eaten. Therefore, marketers should consider our findings when designing their ads (and perhaps avoid excessive sensory simulations)."


Well now we’ve all had our fair share of summer blockbusters, here’s some research that might make you rethink your movie choice.  According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine action movies are more likely to lead to overeating because of how they distract us from all the deliciously unhealthy things we are jamming into our mouths.

In the study, led by Cornell Psychologist, Aner Tal, 94 undergraduates snacked on M&Ms, cookies, carrots and grapes while watching 20 minutes of TV. One watched a segment of the action movie The Island, another watched a segment of the Charlie Rose Show, and a third watched the same segment from The Island but without sound. Results?  Those watching The Island ate almost twice as many snacks – 98% more than those watching Charlie Rose. People watching the more distracting content also consumed more calories, with 354 calories consumed by those watching The Island (314 calories with no sound) compared to 215 calories consumed by those watching the Charlie Rose Show.

So, while this study certainly isn’t particularly large, and the results maybe not even be that surprising. It’s still a worthwhile reminder that a distracted mind can lead to mindless eating!  


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