Action-packed TV might make you snack more

CHICAGO — Could action-packed TV fare make you fat? That’s the implication of a new study that found people snacked more watching fast-paced television than viewing a more leisurely-paced talk show.

THE SKINNY: Cornell University researchers randomly assigned almost 100 undergraduates to watch one of three 20-minute sessions featuring: “The Island,” a 2005 sci-fi thriller starring Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor; that same movie but without the sound; or the “Charlie Rose” show, a public television interview program. The students were all provided generous amounts of cookies, M&M candies, carrots and grapes.

During “The Island,” students ate on average about 7 ounces (207 grams) of various snack foods, and 354 calories. That was almost 140 calories more and nearly double the ounces they ate watching interviewer Charlie Rose. Watching the movie without sound, they also ate more — almost 100 calories more — compared with Charlie Rose.

THE THEORY: The faster paced TV seemed to distract viewers more, contributing to mindlessness eating, said Cornell researcher Aner Tal, the study’s lead author. The results suggest that a steady diet of action TV could raise risks for packing on pounds.

LIMITATIONS: The study was small and didn’t last long enough to measure any long-term effects on the students’ weight. It’s also possible some viewers would find talk shows or other slower-paced TV more distracting and would be more apt to snack more during those shows than when watching action-packed programs.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Tal suggests viewers take steps to prevent mindless snacking, by avoiding or limiting high-calorie snacks when watching TV.

More in Local News

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Police: Driver threatens pedestrian, ends up in drug bust

Meth, cocaine and heroin were found in his car, along with a loaded pistol and cash, police say.

Son arrested for hitting father on head at Marysville home

The father grabbed a metal rod and struck his son in the head, too. Both needed medical treatment.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Most Read