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Appetite. 2012 Feb;58(1):387-92. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.11.006. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Brisk walking reduces ad libitum snacking in regular chocolate eaters during a workplace simulation.

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Sport & Health Sciences, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, St. Luke's Campus, Heavitree Rd., Exeter, Devon EX1 2LU, UK.


Workplace snacking can contribute to obesity. Exercise reduces chocolate cravings but effects on chocolate consumption are unknown. This study investigated the effect of brief exercise on ad libitum consumption during breaks in a computerised task. Seventy-eight regular chocolate eaters, age: 24.90±8.15 years, BMI: 23.56±3.78 kg/m(2) abstained for 2 days. They were randomly assigned to one of four conditions, in a 2 × 2 factorial design, involving either a 15 min brisk walk or quiet rest, and then computerised Stroop tasks with low or high demanding conditions, in three 180 s blocks with a 90 s interval. Throughout, a pre-weighed bowl of chocolates was available for ad libitum eating. A two-way ANOVA revealed no interaction effect of exercise and stress on total chocolate consumption, or main effect of stress, but a main effect of exercise [F(1, 74)=7.12, p<.01]. Mean (SD) chocolate consumption was less (t(73.5)=2.69, 95% CI for difference 3.4-22.9, ES=0.61) for the exercise (15.6 g) than control (28.8 g) group. Exercise also increased affective activation, but there was no mediating effect of change in affect on chocolate consumption. A brief walk may help to reduce ad libitum snacking in regular chocolate eaters.

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