Cravings and Exercise
Friday, May 1, 2009

Resisting chocolate can be a daunting task, but exercise may help. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study that looked at cravings and exercise in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Chocolate can be a tough thing to resist. But a new study shows that taking a brisk walk can cut down the urge to eat chocolate and may help curb cravings.

Researchers gathered 25 people whom they described as “regular chocolate eaters”–those who ate at least two 50-gram bars of chocolate a day.

Participants were deprived of their favorite sweet for three days; they were also told not to exercise or have caffeine for two hours before the test period. One group of participants took a brisk 15-minute walk on a treadmill. The other group sat quietly for 15 minutes.

After walking or doing nothing, each participant took a computerized test and unwrapped and handled a chocolate bar–but they were not allowed to eat it.

The group that exercised had a significant reduction in chocolate cravings when compared to their baseline. Taking a brisk walk also eased blood pressure readings for participants. Being sedentary did not appear to lessen cravings.

The researchers hope the findings can help shed light on how to interrupt cravings.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.