Your messy kitchen could be the reason you’re putting on weight

Your messy kitchen could be the reason you're putting on weight
MOTIVATION: Does the research motivate you to do the dishes? Photo credit the stressed mom

HAVE you ever considered that neglecting your chores could be part of the reason why you’re putting on weight?

According to research, people with a messy kitchen consume more calories than those with a tidy one.
“The notion that places – such as cluttered offices or disorganized homes – can be modified to help us control our food intake is becoming an important solution in helping us become slimmer by design,” said Brian Wansink of Cornell University about the study.
“It’s important to know whether a food environment can actually cause you to, unknowingly, overeat,” Wansink said.

Setting out to examine how clutter affects how much food people consume, researchers enlisted the help of 100 women. Next, they created two kitchens, one messy and one tidy.
“We brought 100 people into [the] kitchens — just one at a time,” Wanskin said.
Each participant was given a writing task; some of the tasks were designed to make the women feel stressed and others to make them feel in control.
All of the women were given snacks (crackers, carrots and cookies) and told to eat as much as they want.

Participants who wrote about a time they felt out of control while in the messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies as the women in the tidy kitchen, however, there was no difference in consumption of the crackers and carrots.

Backing up the notion that our environment can affect how much we eat, Jane McCartney, a British psychologist says open plan kitchens aren’t doing people any favours either.
“Being able to close the door on food is useful,” she told the British press.

Although renovating isn’t always an option, Jane offers some advice.
“When you go into the kitchen to put the kettle on, then leave – don’t hang around waiting for it to boil – it’s danger time,” she said.
“When you get up to stretch your legs and clear your head it can all too easily turn into a stroll to the biscuit tin.”


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