October 11, 2010

Our Food & Brand lab study in the USA Today!

Exciting day today! This morning I ran to the hotel lobby to get a copy of the USA Today. And why? Because our study (the one that I did with Brian Wansink and Mitsuru Shimizu at the Food and Brand lab last year) can be found at the Life section of this important newspaper.
I love the headline: 'Watch a fitness commercial and you just might eat less'. And this is what Nanci Hellmich, the journalist of the USA Today wrote:

'If you're struggling to eat less and keep your appetite under control, here's a tip: Try watching someone else exercising. People consumed less at meals after watching exercise-related commercials than they did after viewing other types of ads, a new study says. Researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, N.Y., recruited 125 participants and had half watch TV exercise-related ads for running shoes and fitness centers. The other half watched ads for things such as car insurance and washing machines. Then all participants were offered a buffet lunch. Findings:
  • Those who saw the fitness messages ate 22% fewer calories at lunch than the others.
  • Participants who viewed the exercise commercials reported feeling more active, athletic and in better shape than those in the other group.
  • Those who watched the exercise messages thought the meal was healthier and liked it better than those watching the other ads.
The exercise commercials may have caused people to be more health- and body-conscious, says the study's lead author, Ellen van Kleef. She presented the results this weekend at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society in San Diego. The fitness messages reminded people of how much work it is to burn off calories, says Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell lab. "They realized that half-cup of pudding is going to mean a mile and half on the treadmill."'

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