Training your brain to eat less sugar
Who says you can’t lose weight lazing on the couch playing video games?
A recent study led by Evan Forman, PhD, a psychology professor at Drexel University found that a video game they developed called Diet DASH can train players to eat less sugar, lose weight and improve overall health.
The trial looked at 109 overweight individuals who ate sweets. These participants attended a workshop prior to starting the game to help them understand why sugar is bad for their health and to learn which foods to avoid.
"The workshop helped give participants strategies for following a no-sugar diet, said Forman. However, we hypothesized that participants would need an extra tool to help manage sweets cravings.
"The daily training could make or break a person's ability to follow the no-added sugar diet. They strengthen the part of your brain to not react to the impulse for sweets."
These individuals then played the computer game for a few minutes every day for six weeks and then once a week for two weeks. In the game, players move as quickly as possible through a grocery store with the goal of putting the correct healthy foods in a grocery cart.
For more than half of the participants who showed a higher preference toward sweets, playing the game actually helped them lose up to 3.1 per cent of their body weight over eight weeks.
Participants also remarked they found the daily training sessions satisfactory, it became part of their daily routine and they wished to continue with the training sessions if they were available.