I know for a fact that I am not the only person who can waste an entire Sunday from sunrise (or whenever I wake up, hungover, and stumble to my couch) to well after midnight watching an “SVU” marathon on the USA network. I’m not alone in the ideals of locking myself in my room with snacks and takeout and binging on “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards” on Netflix. Binge eating AND binge watching–it’s a TSM.
Now, thankfully, there’s a science to back up my fatass tendencies to watch awesome TV shows and charge Seamless to my credit card like my life depended on it, thanks to the good folks at Cornell University. Researchers from Cornell assigned about 100 undergraduates to watch one of three 20-minute programs: part of “The Island,” the 2005 movie starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson; the same movie, but without sound; or “Charlie Rose” on PBS, arguably the best TV interview program on television, hosted by the sexy, silver fox Charlie Rose. The students were all provided with generous amounts of snacks, including cookies, M&M candies, carrots, and grapes. (Carrots and grapes? Eww. Where are my Funyuns?)
The study found that people who watched “The Island” with sound ate almost DOUBLE the calories and amount (in ounces) than those who watched “Charlie Rose.” During “The Island,” students each ate about seven ounces of various snack foods and 354 calories, on average. People who watched “Charlie Rose” ate about half that amount. Even people watching the movie without sound ate about 100 calories more than the “Charlie Rose” viewers.
So, maybe the answer to our binge eating is to be more conscious of our mindless eating while watching mindless entertainment. Or, just keep watching that sexy, grandpa fetish-inducing Charlie Rose interview the top celebrities, newsmakers, and influencers of our day. Never change, Charlie Rose. Never change.