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Walking While Eating Can Lead to Weight Gain, Study Suggests

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Are you constantly eating while on your feet? Many busy professionals find themselves eating while they walk–a bad idea, according to a new study from the United Kingdom.

Researchers at the University of Surrey recently carried out a study which, in the end, showed that eating while walking can lead to weight gain. The problem, according to the researchers, is that the brain can be preoccupied during movement, meaning we may actually forget that we’ve eaten and want more food shortly after finishing our meal.

The study, which involved only 60 women, required participants to eat a cereal bar while walking down a corridor. Once the experiment was complete, participants answered questions and were asked to perform a taste test of chocolate, carrots, grapes, and potato chips. Researchers then noted how much each person ate during the taste test.

The results revealed that the participants who ate and walked during the initial test ate more food during the taste test. Remarkably, this group ate five times more chocolate.

“Eating on the go may make dieters overeat later on in the day,” noted Professor Jane Ogden, the study’s lead author.

“This may be because walking is a powerful form of distraction which disrupts our ability to process the impact eating has on our hunger. Or it may be because walking, even just around a corridor, can be regarded as a form of exercise which justifies overeating later on as a form of reward.”

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