Health

Food for Thought

Have you seen those 100 calorie packs of snack food that came on the market recently? The tiny packs of chips cookies, and chocolate might seem like a dream come true. I know I love those thin chocolate bars. But according to researchers from Arizona State University, these snack packs actually make the people likely to buy these snacks – dieters – eat more. In a study soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers explain that when faced with 200 calories’ worth of regular-sized M&M’s in one package versus the same amount of mini-M&M’s packaged into four small baggies, 18 per cent of dieters polished off all the mini-packages while only 4 per cent did so when the candies were in the larger packs.

In another experiment, dieters were asked to record how long it took to eat 24 cookies. Half were given cookies in bulk; the rest received them individually wrapped.

The group that received the cookies in bulk gobbled them up in six days, compared with an average of 24 days for the participants with the individually wrapped cookies. That was the good news. But researchers say this effect diminishes as people grow accustomed to eating the mini packages.  And as the novelty wears off, people may start eating more than one pack in a sitting.

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