Clearly hard to resist

Times Staff Writer

KEEPING your hands off chocolate can be difficult -- and you may have your eyes to blame. For three weeks, researchers at Cornell University and the University of Illinois-Champaign gave 40 women several dozen chocolate Hershey Kisses in clear or opaque candy jars either on their desks or six feet away. They refilled the candy jars each day and tracked how much the women ate.

They found that women ate nearly twice as many Hershey Kisses when the candy was in clear containers on their office desks (7.7 pieces per day) than when the candy was in opaque jars (4.6 pieces per day).

Distance also played a role. On average, women ate 5.6 Kisses a day when the candy was visible in clear containers placed six feet away from their desks compared with 3.1 chocolates a day when the candy was in a non-translucent jar.

“If we want to reduce our consumption of sweets, we should keep them out of sight and inconvenient,” said James Painter, professor of nutrition at Eastern Illinois University and a co-author of the study.


The study was presented at a North American Society for the Study of Obesity meeting this fall and will soon be published in the International Journal of Obesity.