Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered why eating tasty and unhealthy food is everywhere when trying to avoid weight loss. A new study suggests that thinking about food in any way, even in a negative way, can make you more prone to overeating.
People find it difficult to remember or think about other things when they are distracted by food, where they feel surrounded by an irresistible ring of delicious foods.
The researchers asked 90 volunteers to remember a picture of food, such as pizza, then locate a circle on the screen, while another form appeared to try to distract them. For some experiments, a picture of foods stored in memory was placed next to the circle. In other cases, they have been developed along with the form used to distract attention.
About half of the volunteers suffered from obesity, while others enjoyed healthy weight. The experiment was repeated by asking participants to remember a picture of a non-food component, such as a spanner. The researchers found, led by Dr. Susan Higgs, that all participants found it difficult to locate the circuit during the task, using food images. The task became more difficult when the image of food was placed alongside the image of dispersion.
The results were published in the International Journal of Obesity, the effect was greater for participants with overweight. All participants were assessed after one year of study, conducted by the British Psychological Association, and found that those who struggled to accomplish the task were more likely to increase their body mass index.
"We suggest that thinking about food increases the risk of over-eating," Higgs said. "The person is more responsive to the presence of food in the surrounding environment," she said. "Solving puzzles or playing games may help divert attention from food," she said.
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