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Sad Movies Linked to Higher Calorie Consumption

Update Date: Mar 03, 2015 05:05 PM EST
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Sad movies make you fat, according to a new study. After analyzing food consumption in moviegoers, researchers noticed that people watching tearjerkers ate between 28 percent and 55 percent more popcorn than those that watched other movie genres.

Study results revealed that moviegoers ate 28 percent more popcorn when watching tragedies than when watching comedies.

Furthermore, analyses of movie theater dumpster contents revealed that moviegoers who bought popcorn and watched a sad movie, Solaris, ate 55 percent more popcorn than those watching the happier movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Researchers said the latest findings support previous studies on action and adventure movies.

"With action movies, people seem to eat to the pace of the movie," co-researcher Aner Tal, of Cornell Food and Brand Lab, said in a news release. "But movies can also generate emotional eating, and people may eat to compensate for sadness."

"Keep snacks out of arms reach, ideally leave them in the kitchen and only bring to the couch what you intend to eat. It's easier to become slim by design than slim by willpower," Tal concluded.

While tearjerkers increase food consumptions, they can also promote healthy eating.

"Sad movies also lead people to eat more of any healthy food that's in front of them," lead author Cornell Professor Brian Wansink, author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, added. "It's a quick and mindless way of getting more fruit or veggies into your diet."

The findings are published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine..

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