Movie-goers watching tear jerking films ate up to 55pc more popcorn in a study by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.
They ate 28pc more popcorn watching the tragedy Love Story than when watching the comedy Sweet Home Alabama.
Those who watched sad movie Solaris ate an average of 55pc more popcorn than when they watched the more upbeat My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
The good news is that people watching sad movies will also “eat more of any healthy food that’s put in front of them” said the lead author of the research Prof Brian Wansink.
The current study complements a previous one by Cornell which found that action and adventure movies lead television viewers to eat more calories “but only if the foods are within arm’s reach”.
“With action movies people seem to eat at the pace of the movie but movies can also generate emotional eating and people may eat to compensate for sadness”
Wansink provides a last piece of advice for dieting movie-lovers, “Keep snacks out of arms reach, ideally leave them in the kitchen and only bring to the couch what you intend to eat.
“It’s easier to become slim by design than slim by willpower.”
The study is published in a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter.