I guess it’s an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp” or “yeah-no.” But to make America’s obesity problems even worse, our own fitness ads have turned against us!
Now, it’s not nearly as bad as Skynet becoming self aware, but it isn’t good either. Researchers from the University of Illinois claim after being exposed to advertisements promoting exercise, people actually experience an increase in appetite and eat more. Published in the journal Obesity, the first study involved 53 college students asked to look at a series of posters from an exercise campaign.
Then at a different time, they were asked to judge a similar series of posters not involving exercise and just like trained monkeys, or just college students, they were promised a few raisins afterward.
After looking at the exercise posters, students ate about 18 calories, but after the non-exercise posters they only consumed 12 calories of raisins.
In another test, 51 college students were told they would be participating in a computerized hand-eye coordination test, each were randomly assigned to action worlds like “active” or a neutral words such as “moon.” But this time students were promised foods like peanuts, raisins and M&M’s. Hooray, nom-noms!
Data revealed results similar to the first test. Students exposed to action words ate more goodies than those assigned neutral words. Students were not asked to dance beside an organ grinder for feed pellets.
Lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Dolores Albarracin, suggests simply plastering walls with these sorts of advertising campaigns aren’t effective; The New York Times reports.
I don’t know about advertisements, but when I get back from the gym, especially after a vigorous workout, like running or Ashtanga Yoga, I tear through a bunch of bananas like a rabid silverback gorilla, sans organ grinder.