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

Loose weight without diets

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Simple Secrets to Easy Weight Loss is the new book by UK author and therapist Steve McNulty Steve makes a confident and sincere offer that if you do as he asks (and that what he asks costs nothing, is easy to do and doesn’t hurt) and if you do not lose weight, he will refund your money.

At 53, Steve decided that he needed to lose some serious weight if he was going to lead a long and healthy life. However, as he had a reputation for ‘eating for England’, he knew that he needed a plan that involved no diets or deprivation, no supplements or surgery, no pain and certainly no ongoing associated cost. He tried all the modern courses and plans and although he managed to lose some weight it quickly went back on.

Fed up of yo-yo dieting, he then set out to put together the perfect plan. Being a therapist and having trained in the most modern ‘mind sciences’, he knew roughly where to go to find everything ‘out there’ about losing weight. Having identified all the necessary ingredients he tried them out, keeping the ones that worked to and binning the rest.

The main ingredient Steve uses is Thought Field Therapy which enables him to collapse or eliminate any anxiety or food cravings, so allowing him to relax and eat heartily at the right time. Over the first eighteen months he lost two and a half stone (sixteen kilos) and has continued to lose another stone (six kilos) over the last year, making a total loss of three and a half stone.

“I haven’t been hungry once in the last 3 years”, says Steve “and my friends cannot believe how I still eat for England without increasing my weight”. Steve has identified that the real secret to managing our weight is to understand why we eat when we are not hungry. Once we understand this we can easily shift our eating patterns, eat plenty when we are hungry and manage our weight to a healthy level.

“There are three good reason to eat”, says Steve. Firstly, you must eat if you are hungry – that is the way we are built and we should never ever starve our bodies of food when we are hungry. Secondly, we should eat for our pure enjoyment. This means that eating a special meal, a really good dish or a rare treat is OK. Thirdly, eating to be sociable is OK as Steve says “I would never say no to a piece of the cake my Mum has just made especially for us when we pop round for afternoon tea.

However, he believes that all the other reasons for eating when we are not hungry are based in Anxiety. Reasons such as boredom, frustration, distraction, stress, anxiety, or habit should never force us to eat unnecessarily, and once the anxiety, or comfort element is eliminated the urge or compulsion to eat disappears. If you are not hungry and you have no compulsion you don’t need to eat. Eat when you are hungry and hey-presto the weight just drops off.

Steve uses his book as the text book for the weight management courses he regularly runs in Watford and London. The book includes everything which he has found to work for himself and his clients.

Steve believes that effective weight management requires a personalised plan and not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Adopting the right plan will for each user become an unnoticeable part of everyday life. Steve’s courses last one day and the participants get all the tools they need to achieve their planned weight loss without ever having to return for more classes or having to spend more money. Steve says “2 weeks practice is all that is required to develop the right eating patterns and drop bad habits.”

Steve also offers one to one coaching and training in weight loss from his clinics in Harley Street, London and Watford. He also runs online support groups and forums to ensure everyone is supported while reaching their goals.

His book can be bought from his websitewww.stephenmcnulty.co.uk or on-line.