Campaigns promoting exercise may prompt people to eat more

February 28th, 2009 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 28 (IANS) New research suggests that weight loss campaigns promoting exercise may actually cause people to eat more.
People who viewed posters suggesting that they “join a gym” or “take a walk” ate more food than people who saw similarly designed posters prompting them to “make friends” or “be in a group”, researchers found.

Subliminal words about being active had a similar effect on study participants, said psychology professor Dolores Albarracin (University of Illinois) who led the research.

“Viewers of the exercise messages ate significantly more (than their peers),” she said. “They ate one-third more when exposed to the exercise ads.”

Those exposed to subliminal words about activity during a computer task ate about 20 percent more than those exposed to neutral words, she said.

These findings appeared in Obesity.

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