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Appetite. 2014 May;76:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.005. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Watching television while eating increases energy intake. Examining the mechanisms in female participants.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.
  • 2Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia. Electronic address:


Watching television (TV) while eating tends to increase food intake, but why this occurs is not well understood. Here, we examined TV's effects on sensory specific satiety (SSS), introception (i.e., hunger/fullness), mood and other variables, in females who all ate one snack meal with TV and another without TV. To manipulate the development of SSS, participants were assigned either to a group receiving a single type of snack food or one receiving four types. Everyone ate more with TV. More food items were eaten in the group offered multiple snack types. In the group eating a single snack type with TV, hedonic ratings indicated that SSS did not develop and this was associated with greater food intake. Irrespective of group, more food had to be consumed to generate the same shift in hunger/fullness when eating with TV, relative to no TV. TV exerted less effect on food intake both if it improved mood and if participants were unfamiliar with the TV show, and a greater effect if participants were frequent TV viewers. We suggest that TV can affect several processes that normally assist the voluntary regulation of food intake.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Introception; Introceptive sensitivity; Sensory specific satiety; Snack meal; Television

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