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NewsBites May 2016 Issue

Clutter and Chaos Linked to Calories and Cookies

Keeping your kitchen uncluttered and calm might help prevent you from munching empty calories. A recent Cornell University experiment, published in Environment and Behavior, compared the snacking habits of 100 young women. Half were assigned to a clean kitchen where they completed a writing assignment without distractions. The others were sent to a cluttered kitchen where they had to work while a researcher noisily attempted to clean up. Then all participants were presented cookies, crackers and baby carrots for what they thought was a taste test. Those in the clean, quiet kitchen consumed fewer calories than participants surrounded by clutter and noise, who ate more cookies.

What was on participants' minds also mattered: Women asked to write about a time when they felt chaotic and out of control ate more cookies than those told to write about being organized and in control.

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