Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cover Your Eyes! Exercise Ads Increase Food Intake

Well that's just jolly, isn't it. You think that maybe seeing images of fit people would motivate you to drop a few pounds and get in shape, but according to researchers, you might end up doing the opposite...

In the study, published in the Journal of Obesity, participants looked at an advertisement, images or words related to fitness and activity, both obviously and subliminally, while their control counterparts received neutral, non-fitness related messages. All participants were given a 'treat' after this activity and what happened? Those in the 'exercise communication' condition actually ate more of the treats than those that just saw neutral ads or words.

While it makes sense to be hungry and eat more after a workout - none of these participants actually worked out! The researchers think that maybe your brain automatically associates the images with the feelings you have after a workout, and that without proper dietary guidance, these messages might be backfiring. Uh-oh....Well, at least now you know!