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“Viewers of the exercise messages ate significantly more (than their peers, who viewed other types of messages),” she said. “They ate one-third more when exposed to the exercise ads.” Those exposed to subliminal words about activity during a computer task ate about 20 percent more than those exposed to neutral words, she said.
The study, which appears in the journal Obesity, builds on previous research by Albarracín that suggests that general messages to be active can prompt people to behave in a variety of ways, some of which may have negative consequences.
If you want to learn more about the science behind the obesity epidemic I recommend the book Waistland by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett. It covers the obesity epidemic from an evolutionary standpoint and introduced me to the novel concept of “supernormal stimuli.”
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