If you tend to eat when you're distracted, such as in front of the computer or television, a new study suggests taking smaller bites to prevent overeating.
Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands recruited 53 healthy adults who sipped soup while watching an animated film. During two experiments, the sips were pre-measured — one day the sips were five grams, the second day they were 15 grams. On the third day, subjects sipped soup normally. In all cases, subjects could take as many sips as they liked.
In general, people ate more soup when they were distracted by the film as opposed as to when they were directed to focus on the taste of the soup.
Also, subjects ate 30 percent less soup when they took small sips, as compared to both the larger sips and when they could sip as they liked, regardless of whether or not they were distracted.
The findings were published online January 23 in the journal PLOS ONE.
In a separate study, researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK found that subjects who were distracted while having a meal consumed far more unhealthy snacks afterward than those who paid close attention to what they ate. Findings were published 2011 in the journal Appetite.