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Author Topic: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?  (Read 2314 times)

Offline thedoc

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Ironically, action movies make us reach for the popcorn
more often, a new study has shown...
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here
or Listen to it now or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 09/09/2014 17:24:55 by _system »


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?
« Reply #1 on: 09/09/2014 17:31:06 »
There has to be a reason why advertisers pay to sponsor television. I have a vague suspicion that it is because it influences our behaviour. The alternative explanation, that advertisers are even more stupid than their audiences, is improbable.
 

Offline RussellJones

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Re: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2014 09:43:34 »
The explanation given in the report "Can Bruce Willis make you gain weight" do not sound convincing to me. If the film were taking the attention of the subject, then surely they would pay less attention to eating. Isn't another possibility that because the action movie is more fast paced, the subject's perception of time is sped up. They eat more frequently, but they don't realise it - they feel that they're eating at a constant rate.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?
« Reply #3 on: 13/09/2014 11:13:43 »
Hi Russell

That's correct - the argument put forward by Aner Tal to account for the effect is that the action movie is more engaging - or distracting - and therefore renders a person less sensitive to their own internal physiology, including satiety signals. The result is a greater tendency to overeat.
 

Offline RussellJones

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Re: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?
« Reply #4 on: 13/09/2014 14:53:23 »
I'm saying that it's nothing to do with satiety. If I eat one crisp, I'm not satiated, but that doesn't mean that I would eat another one immediately. I would wait a period of time, and then I might have another, but I'm still not satiated. In a movie I'm not going to be looking at my watch - I make an unconscious estimate of the amount of time that has elapsed. But it is known that people's perception of time is based on the number of events that are experienced. In a state of sensory deprivation, time appears to pass much more slowly than in a highly stimulated state. So, during an action movie time may seem to pass more quickly, and this would make the viewer eat more frequently (in absolute time). Obviously they would reach satiation sooner (again, in absolute time), but it's not clear from the report whether the tests were long enough for that to actually happen.
In any case, if the subjects did reach satiety but kept eating anyway, would one not expect them to report some discomfort once the viewing had finished?
 

Offline chris

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Re: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?
« Reply #5 on: 14/09/2014 22:37:26 »
They watched for 20 minutes. If they had begun to reach the "i feel really sick" stage then the effect would have saturated so the interval was set to 20 minutes to catch everyone in the active-eating phase.

The researchers didn't assess behaviourally why the subjects ate more, or their sensations of hunger or otherwise. That may well be the topic of a future paper.
 

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Re: Does the type of TV we watch influence how much we eat?
« Reply #5 on: 14/09/2014 22:37:26 »

 

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