With the holidays approaching, a new study in PLOS One reinforces the importance of staying a good distance away from festive food tables to help avoid overeating. Researchers randomly assigned 41 Swedish teens (ages 15 to 17) to attend an hour-long session (supposedly to evaluate a smartphone app) on two different occasions after school. In one group, grapes, crackers and chocolates were placed at arm’s length for snacking. In the other group, the same snacks were placed 20 feet away.
In the nearby-snack group, the teens served themselves grapes and crackers more often and ate more chocolates (but didn’t report increased fullness) compared to the distant-snack group. On average, the nearby-snack group consumed 726 calories versus 504 calories in the distant-snack group (with the difference mostly from chocolates).
To learn more: PLOS One, August 2017