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October 6, 2015

Adam Finley: Good TV makes you fat

by Martin Conaghan, posted Sep 10th 2007 3:55PM
Today, Monday September 10, 2007, TV Squad is remembering blogger Adam Finley who passed away tragically late last week. All front page posts will be staff picks of Adam's writing through the years.

I didn't know Adam personally, but he regularly sent emails to the TV Squad group, often simply forwarding on a funny news story, or commenting on a recent event. His TV Squad posts were invariably funny, witty and acutely observant. I said to my TV Squad colleagues when I learned the tragic news of his accidental death: it truly is A Wonderful Life. From all the way across the Atlantic ocean to my home in Scotland, Adam's life touched my own in ways I can't even begin to comprehend. This post was from June 4, 2007, and I feel it's one of the most appropriate, given the medium we comment on here at TV Squad, and what it does to all of us. Once more, Adam hit the spot with his simple analysis of another pointless study into the effects of television.

Originally published on June 4, 2007.

Fat TVAccording to a new study, people eat more when they're watching television they find entertaining.

Dr. Alan Hirsch, the neurological director for the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducted an experiment in which folks were given chips to eat while watching Letterman and Leno, and chips to eat when not watching any TV at all. As it turns out, they ate more chips while watching TV because they paid less attention to whether or not they were full while distracted by what was on the television.

So really, it's not so much television that makes people eat more than they should as it is distractions in general. It doesn't matter if you're watching Leno alone in your apartment, or if you're having a picnic outside and a clown gets in a slap fight with a cowboy right in front of you. Either way, you'll be paying less attention to the quantity of food going into your mouth.

Nevertheless, TV should do its part to help people eat more sensibly. I think the best way to do this is to occasionally put things on the TV screen that make people lose their appetite. For example: after every joke, Letterman should take a bite out of an actual human eyeball.

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