Vital Statistics

A roundup of some unusual studies making news. As always, a mention here doesn’t mean an endorsement.

Can staring at the computer during lunchtime cause you to eat more later?

New research from the University of Bristol in England shows that those who played a computer game while eating lunch ended up eating more later in the day.

Forty-four men and women participated in the study. Half ate lunch consisting of nine different foods while playing a computer game; the other half ate the same lunch without any distractions.

A half hour after lunch, the computer group consumed twice as many snacks as members of the other group. That wasn’t all – after being asked to recall what they ate for lunch, the gamers had much more difficulty. Lead researcher Jeffrey M. Brunstrom tells Reuters: “When our memory is poor, then at a subsequent meal we tend to select and consume a greater amount of food”.

Study shows kids are consuming large amounts of caffeine daily

A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics finds 75 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 12 consume caffeine. Not surprisingly, the study found the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept.

Children between the ages of 5 and 7, consumed an average of 52 milligrams per day, and children between 8 and 12 consumed about 109 milligrams. According to WebMD, that’s the equivalent of almost three 12 ounce cans of soda. The researchers found that the caffeine in the children’s diet came mainly from the consumption of soft drinks.

Study finds everyone really does need their beauty sleep

New research finds that beauty sleep not only affects your appearance, but also how others perceive you. The Swedish study analyzed 23 adults, taking photos of each participant twice. One photo was taken after getting a full eight hours of sleep and one after being awake for 31 hours after only getting five hours of sleep.

Sixty-five observers (who knew nothing about the amount of sleep the subjects had received) then randomly reviewed the photos and rated their perceptions of the participants. The photos of the sleep-deprived resulted in lower marks on both the health and attractiveness scales.

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