Do people eat more if they’re too busy to notice what they’ve already eaten?

Researchers had 120 women drink either a thick 270-calorie smoothie or a thin 75-calorie smoothie while distracted by either an easy or a difficult computer task. Then they were offered potato chips and similar snacks.

The women ate about half as many chips—and reported feeling more full—after drinking the higher-calorie smoothie than after drinking the lower-calorie smoothie…but only after doing the easy task. After the harder, more-distracting task, the women ate as many chips and felt equally full, regardless of whether they had polished off a higher-calorie or lower-calorie smoothie.

What to do: Keep in mind that eating may not curb your appetite or make you feel as full if you were distracted while you ate.

Photo: Pixel-Shot/

The information in this post first appeared in the December 2020 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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