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Study: Seeing candy makes it harder to resist

Associated Press
Published October 20, 2005


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Scientists studying candy-jar psychology have confirmed what most of us know: Out of sight is out of mind.

Secretaries who were given Hershey kisses for Secretary's Week ate more of them when the jars were clear or on their desks than when the chocolates were in opaque containers or placed a short distance away.

"It should make us think about what we're doing" to undermine people's willpower, said Dr. Louis Aronne, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and president of the Obesity Society, which held a conference where the research was presented Tuesday.

Secretaries ate an average of 7.7 kisses each day when the candies were in clear containers on their desks; 4.6 when in opaque jars on the desk; 5.6 when in clear jars 6 feet away; and 3.1 when in opaque jars 6 feet away.

In interviews, secretaries overestimated how many chocolates they ate when they had to walk a few feet, and underestimated how many they consumed when the treats were in easy reach.

[Last modified October 20, 2005, 01:20:19]


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