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Why do you snack so much while watching TV?

A new study suggests eating while we watch TV prevents us from realizing we’re full.

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A new study suggests eating while we watch TV prevents us from realizing we’re full.

A new study suggests eating while we watch TV prevents us from realizing we’re full.

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Why do you eat so much while watching TV? Well, it actually has something to do with the television itself and the food you’re eating.

A new study from the University of Sussex suggests people have a hard time realizing they’re full while watching TV and wind up eating too much because our brains are locked in on television — making it harder for us to realize we’ve eaten an entire bag of Lays chips.

  • The study examined 120 people after giving them low- or high-calorie drinks while they performed high-demanding tasks.
  • Those who had high-demanding tasks ate more snacks after the test. Those who did engaging activities knew they were full.
  • The study said the brain will filter out sensory information when your perception demand increases. So when you’re locked in on something, your brain forgets to think about other things, the study said.

Our study suggests that if you’re eating or drinking while your attention is distracted by a highly engaging task, you’re less likely to be able to tell how full you feel. You’re more likely to keep snacking than if you’d been eating while doing something less engaging. — professor Martin Yeomans said in a statement.

So what do you do?

The studyis pretty clear about what to do to stay safe — give yourself a healthy amount of snackage. Don’t bring the bag over and expect to cut yourself off.

This is important for anyone wanting to stay a healthy weight: if you’re a habitual TV-watching snacker — watching, say, an engaging thriller or mystery, or a film with a lot of audio or visual effects — you’re not likely to notice when you feel full. Video-gamers and crossword solvers should also take note! — Yeomans said.