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Eat like a bird during the Super Bowl

Eat like a bird during the Super Bowl

If you’re feasting on football fare while watching the epic matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday, you may end up eating way more than you realize unless you take smaller bites, suggests a study out last week.

Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands fed different sized sips of tomato soup through a pump to 53 healthy adults, age 18 to 35, while they were distracted by watching a movie, and again while they focused on the taste of the food.

The subjects received either small sips, large sips, or amounts they freely controlled. All were allowed to stop when they felt they’d had enough and estimated how much soup they’d consumed.

Overall, everyone ate more food while distracted by watching the movie than when they savored their food, the researchers found.

Large-sippers not only consumed the most soup when distracted, they also significantly underestimated how much they’d eaten, a likely risk factor for over eating. Those who sipped soup freely also took relatively large sips and also underestimated the amount they consumed.

The small-sippers ate about 30 percent less soup than the others. The study was published online this week in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access journal.

Bottom line: Taking small sips or bites may help you reduce your food intake, even if you’re distracted by the Ravens and 49ers, those multi-million dollar commercials, or Beyonce’s half-time performance. If you’re trying to lose weight, see our Ratings of 13 popular diet plans to find one that’s right for you.

Consumption with Large Sip Sizes Increases Food Intake and Leads to Underestimation of the Amount Consumed [PLoS ONE]

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