watch fitness, eat better?

I read this short article recently. The gist is that when people watched commercials involving fitness-related activities (gyms, running shoes, etc.), they ate fewer calories at a subsequent buffet lunch than the control group who watched regular commercials.

One person involved in running the study suggested that the commercials reminded people how much exercise it takes to burn off calories. I disagree. Unless the commercials gave that sort of information, most people don’t correctly estimate that kind of trade-off.

I agree with the study’s lead: “The exercise commercials may have caused people to be more health- and body-conscious.”

What the study didn’t talk about was the opposite (well, and it shouldn’t have, because they didn’t test this).  But if just watching other people sell exercise was enough to make people eat less, what do you suppose happens when people watch commercials for restaurants and fast food?

And which do you see more often?

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