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News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

The mental side of eating: Taking the time to sit, relax, appreciate is...


If you love eating a snack while you're on the go, here's some bad news. According to experts from the University of Surrey, snacking on the go doesn't make you feel as full as eating a meal while sitting down, even though both meals have the same amount of calories. 

Snacks don't make you feel full the same way sitting down and eating a meal at a table will, even when you're eating the same thing. When people consider what they're eating as a "snack" — even if that treat has the same calories as a full meal — there's a 50 percent chance that they might eat again.

People are wired to "tick off" three full meals daily, says experts at the University of Surrey. When they sit down to eat one of those meals, they don't feel the need to eat again for a few hours. However, when people have a snack and eat it standing up, the food won't be considered a meal. Later in the day, they might want to eat again.

Professor Jane Ogden, the study leader and a health psychologist at Surrey, thinks that the food industry is contributing to the obesity crisis by selling food as "snacks" in a bid to cash-in on the active lifestyle of British consumers. Ogden's team, whose work is published in the Appetite medical journal, tested their theory on 80 female participants.

The women all received a container of Tesco pasta, and they could eat it with either cheese and tomato or tuna and sweetcorn. Participants were told that it was either a "snack" or a "meal." The food was also served in two ways: either presented in a plastic container and the women were told to eat it standing up with a plastic spoon, or offered on a ceramic plate to be eaten at a table with metal cutlery.

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