Take care, movie-goers! Watching sad films can make you bloat

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2015 16:53 IST

Love watching sad movies? Check out your weight. According to an interesting study, movie-goers watching tearjerkers ate more popcorn in various settings.

According to the findings, movie goers ate 28% more popcorn when watching the tragedy "Love Story" than when watching the comedy "Sweet Home Alabama" in a lab setting.

After weighing discarded popcorn and counting popcorn boxes, researchers found that moviegoers who bought popcorn and watched a sad movie "Solaris" ate an average of 55% more popcorn than those watching the more upbeat movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in a theatre.

The good news is that this can promote healthy eating.

"Sad movies also lead people to eat more of any healthy food that is in front of them. It is a quick and mindless way of getting more fruit or veggies into your diet," said lead study author Brian Wansink from the Cornell University's food and brand lab.

This study complements a recent finding, also by the Cornell food and brand lab, which shows that action and adventure movies also lead television viewers to eat more calories - but only if the foods are within arm's reach.

"With action movies, people seem to eat to the pace of the movie. But movies can also generate emotional eating, and people may eat to compensate for sadness," added Aner Tal, Cornell researcher and study co-author.

The last piece of advice.

"Keep snacks out of arms reach, ideally leave them in the kitchen and only bring to the couch what you intend to eat. It is easier to become slim by design than slim by willpower," the authors concluded.

The study was published in a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter.

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