To Lose Weight, Just Eat in the Dark?

What we see affects how full we feel
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2010 3:44 PM CDT
To Lose Weight, Just Eat in the Dark?
Your eyes affect your waistline.   (Flickr)

Out of sight, out of mind? And stomach? A new study suggests that our sense of feeling full has more to do with our eyes than our belly. A Swiss psychologist decided to test the sensory experience of eating by having 64 participants dine in a pitch-black restaurant; they were then offered skewered fruit sticks for dessert. One group got normal-size portions, the other got supersize servings. What he found is that your body has a hard time knowing how much you've eaten if you can't see it, reports Scientific American.

Plates were weighed after the meal, and diners were instructed to estimate how much they had eaten and rank their satiety. Then they repeated the study in an illuminated restaurant. It's no major surprise that those who ate in the dark had a tough time estimating how much they consumed—but it also changed how full they felt and how much dessert they ate. In the dark, those with regular portions ate an average of eight sticks; in the light, they ate 12.
(More health study stories.)

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