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Messy kitchens encourage high calorie snacking

Messy kitchens encourage high calorie snacking

messy kitchenClean your kitchen and cut your calorie intake.

A cluttered kitchen leads to stress and increases the likelihood of you grabbing high calorie, indulgent snacks.

Stressed out women who were asked to wait for another person while in a messy kitchen, ate twice as many calories as those asked to wait in a kitchen when it was organized and quiet.

In the messy kitchen with newspapers on the table, dishes in the sink and the phone ringing, the waiting women ate more calories in the space of just 10 minutes.

“Being in a chaotic environment and feeling out of control is bad for diets” says Dr Lenny Vartanian who led the study at Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

“It seems to lead people to think, ‘Everything else is out of control, so why shouldn’t I be?’ I suspect the same would hold with males,” he adds.

Half of the 98 females participating in the study waited in a cluttered kitchen with scattered piles of papers and dirty dishes, while the other half waited in an organized kitchen. Both kitchens had bowls of cookies, crackers, and carrots.

Some of the participants were asked to write about a time when their life was out of control and others were asked to write of a time when they were in control.

The latter group entered the cluttered room feeling in control and ate about 100 fewer total calories than those who felt out of control before entering.

“Although meditation, as a way of feeling in control, might be one way to resist kitchen snacking for some, it’s probably easier just to keep our kitchens picked up and cleaned up,” said coauthor Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design.

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