Does TV violence make you eat more?

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Rotterdam: TV violence triggers an increase in hunger, according to new research.

According to Dirk Smeesters, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, people who are thinking about their own deaths want to consume more.

In a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research, “The Sweet Escape: Effects of Mortality Salience on Consumption Quantities for High- and Low-Self-Esteem Consumers”, Dirk Smeesters and co-author Naomi Mandel (Arizona State University) reveal that “consumers, especially those with a faced with images of death during the news or their favorite crime-scene investigation shows.”

Smeesters and Mandel conducted experiments in Europe and the United States on 746 subjects who wrote either about their own death or a visit to the dentist (the control group). The findings revealed that consumers with low self-esteem writing about their death ate more cookies and listed more items on a hypothetical shopping list compared to those who wrote about the dentist. Similar effects were obtained by subliminally presenting the word ‘death’ to consumers and exposing them to death-related news.

Smeesters and Mandel explain this effect using a theory called ‘escape from self-awareness’. When people are reminded of their inevitable mortality, they may start to feel uncomfortable about what they have done with their lives and whether they have made a significant mark on the universe. This is a state called ‘heightened self-awareness.’ One way to deal with such an uncomfortable state is to escape from it, by either overeating or overspending.

Follow-up research found that death-related news can not only increase consumersÂ’ consumption behavior, but can also affect their preferences for domestic and foreign brands. More specifically, consumers who were exposed to death-related news (e.g. a news report about a fatal car crash) had more positive preferences for domestic brands, but more negative preferences for foreign brands compared to consumers not exposed to such news.

These effects were obtained because thinking about death made consumers more patriotic. These studies clearly demonstrated the potential negative effects of advertising foreign brands shortly after the broadcast of death-related programs on television.

About Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

RSM is an internationally top-ranked business school renowned for its ground-breaking research in sustainable business practice and for the development of leaders in global business. Offering an array of bachelor, master, doctoral, MBA and executive education programmes, RSM is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 business schools in Europe. < a href="http://www.rsm.nl">www.rsm.nl

Diets high in fat encourage binge eating

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Chicago: People who eat a high-fat diet are more likely to binge eat at night, according to scientists at the Northwestern University.

Their esearch reveals that over-eating will alter the body’s internal clock, which regulates when we sleep, wake and feel hungry.

The conclusion was made after studying the reactions of mice fed on only high-fat foods. After two weeks, they exhibited an interference with their internal clocks, causing them to eat extra food when they should have been either asleep or at rest.

Prof Joe Bass, who led the research, said: “We found that as an animal on a high-fat diet gains weight it eats at the inappropriate time for its sleep and wake cycle all of the excess calories are consumed when the animal should be resting.

“For a human, that would be like raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night and bingeing on junk food.”

The study, published in the Cell Metabolism journal also reveals that starting a high-fat diet increases the propensity for obesity because the body’s metabolism is disrupted and eating patterns become irregular.

Skipping breakfast makes you fat, says Kelloggs’ survey

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London: Do you skip breakfast most mornings? If yes then youÂ’re not alone, as almost half (45%) of the UK admits to skipping breakfast regularly.

If you think this doesnÂ’t effect you then read on to find out why you really should Mind the GapÂ…Â…

Seven great reasons to make time for breakfast

· FACT: Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. If you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds then you may think you can save a few calories by skipping breakfast. Whilst this may sound like a good idea, in fact what happens is that people who skip breakfast tend to overcompensate for the calories they miss at breakfast and end up eating MORE calories throughout the day, not less.

FACT: For people of all ages breakfast cereal provides key nutrients that improve the nutritional balance of the overall diet. A bowl of fortified cereal provides 25% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the vitamins folate, thiamin, niacin, B6, riboflavin and B12 and 17% of the RDA for iron. And because cereal is usually eaten with milk you’re also getting a good dose of calcium. Research shows that if you miss the opportunity to stock up on these important nutrients at breakfast you will struggle to make them up during the rest of the day. Some nutritionists even suggest that missing breakfast leads not just to a ‘nutrient gap’ but a huge great nutrient chasm.

· FACT: After fasting overnight blood glucose levels are at an all-time low and may explain why people who don’t refuel with breakfast have difficulty concentrating and struggle to get through the morning.

· FACT: People who eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to fall victim to the mid morning snack attack

· Starting the day with a bowl of wholegrain cereal is an easy way to boost your fibre intake. A bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran provides a massive 45% of the Guideline Daily Amount for fibre.

· Surveys show that 4 out of 10 women under the age of 35 are low on iron. A 30g bowl of fortified cereal in the morning provides 17% of the RDA for iron and ensures you are starting the day as you mean to go on.

· Breakfast is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your 5-A-Day target. A small glass of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended minimum 5 servings of fruit and vegetables and if you have a chopped banana, two tablespoons of raisins, dried apricots or fresh berries with you cereal, this can count as another. If you can tick off two servings of fruit at breakfast, then squeezing in three more during the rest of the day should be a doddle!

So, if you do just one thing this weekÂ…set the alarm to wake you up 10 minutes earlier than normal tomorrow and make time for a bowl of cereal. So whether youÂ’re 16 or 66 youÂ’ll reap the rewards throughout the rest of the day!