Brutal news for women with small cabinets and Costco memberships: According to a new study published in the journal Health Education and Behavior, women who kept cereal sitting out on the counter weigh a whopping 20 pounds more than their neighbors who didn't have it out in the open. And you thought it was Halloween candy you had to worry about.
For the study, researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab studied photographs of more than 200 households in Syracuse, New York, where women who had at least two children under the age of 18 lived. Then they measured the height and weight of the ladies. In addition to the womp-womp correlation between cereal and a higher body weight, the researchers found that those who had soda sitting out weighed 24 to 26 pounds more than their neighbors without it (this is what happens when you finally stop drinking diet soda). One bright spot: Those who kept a fruit bowl out on the counter weighed about 13 pounds less.
“It’s your basic see-food diet,” writes lead study author Brian Wansink in a press release about the study. "You eat what you see." Since cereal tends to have a health halo, meaning it's perceived to be better for you than it actually is, Wansink writes that he was surprised that the box was connected with so much weight gain. But, obviously, munching on the stuff whenever you see it can lead to consuming calories that your body doesn't need, he also writes in the press release.
Picking the wrong kind of cereal to snack on can set you back, too—even healthy-looking boxes can be full of sugar. Make sure the first three ingredients include 100 percent whole grains, oats, or bran. Or, better yet, check out these healthy breakfast recipes that promote weight loss.
While the findings of this study were simply correlational, keeping your morning grub out of sight sounds a heck of a lot easier than dieting. Now, if we could just find blinders to keep us from seeing the office candy bowl...
This article was orginally posted by our partners at Prevention a
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