Study Says Having a Messy Kitchen Makes You Fat

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(Photo: OBSEV)

Out of all the things that could possibly make you fat, you can now add “having a messy kitchen” to the list!

A new study done by Cornell University has found that the tidiness of your kitchen has a direct influence on the amount of food you consume, with a cluttered kitchen playing a big role when it comes to overeating.

The study, which was published in the journal Environment and Behavior this month, included 100 female participants and two demo kitchens. One kitchen was a complete mess with newspapers, dirty dishes, and mail strewn throughout. The other kitchen was neat, tidy, and overall more visually appealing. The participants were brought into the kitchens one by one and given a writing prompt. Some women were asked to write about a time they felt out of control, and others were asked to write about a time they felt in control. They were then offered an unlimited amount of cookies, crackers and carrots at their disposal.

The study found that women who wrote about feeling out of control in the messy kitchen ate nearly twice as many cookies (103 calories worth) compared to those who had the same prompt, but in the tidy kitchen. In the cluttered kitchen, women who wrote about feeling in control consumed 38 fewer calories from cookies than women who wrote about feeling out of control.

Such as in life, the carrots and crackers must have been forgotten, because a chaotic environment proved to have no significant impact on their consumption. The authors of the study told NPR, “The results suggest that an individual's mindset can moderate the impact of a chaotic environment on food intake, particularly for sweet foods."

A similar study was previously conducted in an office environment with participants being seated either at an orderly or cluttered desk. Participants who were seated at the neat desks were more inclined than those with a messy desk to choose a healthy snack.

Lesson of the day? Do your dishes before reaching for that next batch of cookies.