Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Trying to eat healthier lower-calorie foods? Keep them nearby.......and keep the higher-calorie junk food away.
Researchers randomly assigned 56 college students to sit in a kitchen where apple slices and buttered popcorn had been placed in one of three locations: the apples were within arm's reach and the popcorn was about two yards away (Apples Near), the popcorn was within reach and the apples were two yards away (Popcorn Near), or both the apples and popcorn were within reach (Both Near). The participants were told to help themselves while the researcher left the room for six minutes. Then the participants rated their preference for each food.
Overall, they liked the popcorn more, but they ate roughly seven times more apple when it was near than when it was far, and about four times more popcorn when it was near than when it was far. In just six minutes, the people in the Apples Near group ate about 50 calories, while those in the other two groups ate about 150 calories.
What To Do: Keep high-calorie foods far away (and preferably out of sight). If you want a snack nearby, make it fresh fruit or veggies.