Want to lose weight? Don’t snack while you game.

As gamers, much (if not all) of our free time is spent playing the games we love, and that means we have little time to devote to things like sitting down for a proper meal. Why should we, when it’s so much easier to just bring our plate back to our desk and nosh while we do our daily quests in WoW?

If we’re trying to lose weight, though, this could end up hurting us: A new study by the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol’s nutrition and behavior unit suggests that eating while playing games is a good way to pack on the pounds.

The study examined the ways in which splitting one’s attention affected appetite and the amount one eats. Subjects were split into two groups: One ate a lunch of nine different foods while simultaneously playing the classic time-waster Solitaire, and the other ate the same lunch without any distractions.

Afterwards, the study found, the gamers felt less full and ate twice as many snacks half an hour after eating lunch as their counterparts who hadn’t been trying to find the black eight to put on the red nine. What’s more, the Solitaire players had more trouble trying to remember just what they’d eaten.

So remember, folks – as tempting as it can be to bring your microwaved pizza to your couch with you while settling in for a match of Halo: Reach, it might hurt your waistline in the long run.

(PA, via CVG)

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