There’s a reason we love watching (and re-watching) movies that make us cry. Seeing Jack drift away from Rose, or Noah kiss Allie in the rain, or Littlefoot struggle to escape a famine (my fave!), we feel sad, yes—but also hopeful and uplifted. (Science proves it: Watching Tearjerkers Might Boost Happiness.)
But one thing you probably won’t feel is hungry. That’s because sad movies might make you more likely to reach for the popcorn than the tissues, report researchers in JAMA Internal Medicine. They found that people ate 28 percent more while watching Love Story than Sweet Home Alabama, and 55 percent more while watching the tearjerker Solaris than My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
The study authors chalk it up to emotional eating. They suggest using it to your advantage by snacking on fruits and veggies. Or, since your movie theater probably doesn’t offer crudite platters and you might be reluctant to smuggle baby carrots and celery sticks in your purse, you could just skip the concession stand altogether. But if you really need a popcorn fix, try eating it with your left hand (or your right, if you’re a leftie). In an earlier study, people who tried this trick ate about 30 percent less than when they used their dominant hand. Who knew?!
By Mirel Ketchiff
Last modified: April 7, 2015