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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioIf you think you're getting a little pudgy, a new study says you could blame the TV, especially if the show you're watching is really good.
The study was done on one basic principle: People snack when they watch television. Total Health and Fitness Director Brian Barney says there is a very simple reason why.
"Basically, the reason being is your mind isn't focused on what's in front of you. It's focused on what you're watching on TV," he says.
But, researchers at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago wanted to map out how much people eat while watching television. To do this, they had test subjects watch Jay Leno and David Letterman, and they gave these subjects a whole lot of chips.
Jay Leno said, "According to a new study, 30 percent of Cubans are overweight. The other 70 percent are still in Cuba."
During their study, researchers determined people ate more chips if they were more entertained with what they were watching. So, who do you think is more fattening, Leno or Letterman?
"I would say Leno because he is fatter, so you probably want to tend to look like him more," Barney says.
The authors of the study say if you want to stay thin you could watch something boring, like, for example, Algebra lesson on youtube.com. However, Barney says there's a problem with that. Some people also snack when they're bored.
OK, so people eat when they're entertained?
"Yes," Barney answered.
And people eat when they're bored?
"Yes," he answered again.
Besides, the television has become an exercise tool for many people.
Exercise and nutrition consultant Stephanie Bunderson says, "If you're the kind of person who looks at exercise as a chore, they're probably more likely to need a TV going in the background."
Bunderson says if you have to snack there are plenty of things that are healthy.
By the way, according the study, Letterman is more fattening than Leno. Subjects ate 44 percent more chips while watching Letterman, 42 percent more when watching Leno than if they weren't watching TV at all.