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Snacking solution

health and fitness Updated: Sep 11, 2011 00:52 IST
Highlight Story

Watching movies or TV often accompanies mindless munching. Getting to the bottom of the allure of such snacking, a study done by researchers in US reveals a solution after getting to the bottom of the problem. The problem, they say, comes down to association, and they’ve come up with a solution that doesn’t involve shunning TV forever: simply eat with your nondominant hand. “When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and makes us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” study researcher David Neal, a psychology professor at University of Southern California, said in a statement.

How to dodge
Hardwired desires to inhale a family-size bag of chips during your favourite show? Reach for your snack with your nondominant hand, the researchers said. In one experiment, scientists handed out popcorn to 98 moviegoers. Some participants received a bucket of fresh popcorn; others received “cold, wet, spongy, week-old” popcorn. Those who said they typically ate popcorn at the movies consumed about the same amount of popcorn whether it was fresh or stale. In a separate experiment, snackers who ate with their nondominant hand consumed less popcorn than those who ate with their dominant hand.