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Computers May Make You Overeat

Most of us do it: eat a quick lunch while we attempt to catch up on the day’s work. While you may be doing your boss proud, it may also have some negative repercussions on how much you eat.

According to a small study, people who eat a meal in front of the computer may eat more dessert than those who eat their meal in a more traditional manner.

In the study of 44 men and women, the participants who played video games during lunch ended up eating more cookies than the others 30 minutes after their meal. The researchers attribute this to computer users having a foggier memory of their meal, which lead to them feeling less full.

The researchers found that those in the computer group ate roughly 250 calories worth of cookies 30 minutes after the meal. On the other hand, the other group ate only about half as many calories.

“We think that memory for recent meals influences the amount of food that we select and then consume at a subsequent meal,” said researcher Jeffrey M. Brunstrom, of the University of Bristol in the UK.

It’s not like there isn’t a precedent for this. Similar research has been done with people who gain weight by eating more when watching television as opposed to eating at the dinner table.

The main difference between the current study and those in the past is that this one reveals that people’s eating distractions may go beyond eating the meal.

(via: MSN)

December 21st, 2010

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