Why Studying While Eating May Make You Fat

42-15517980.jpgAs classes get into full swing, your time is suddenly filled up with reading, late nights spent writing papers, and of course, eating. If you’ve been wondering why you’re always hungry when studying for History 210, researchers have an answer.

In a recent study done by Angelo Tremblay at his lab at the Universite Laval in Quebec, it was found that those performing mental tasks like trying to solve problems (e.g. Calculus 111), while working at a computer stimulated their appetite so much that they tended to eat more calories than their bodies actually burned while performing the task.

The psychological logic for the rise in appetite?  According to the study, mental work “destabilizes” our levels of insulin and glucose, which in turn stimulates the appetite.

Is this why after a weekend of total dedication to homework, I suddenly find I’ve depleted me and my roommate’s entire snack supply?

According to Tremblay’s study, participants consumed far more calories after performing a mental task like reading for a class than relaxing for the same amount of time. In addition, they concluded that time spent surfing the Internet, as well as instant messaging, may very well be a significant factor in the obesity epidemic amongst college students.

So studying is really to blame for the freshman 15?

The study was done on fourteen 20-30 year olds in good health with no eating disorders over a course of two months. Since the studying-induced weight gain seems to affect college-aged women the most, it proves that women tend to eat more because of stress than men.

Let us know your opinion!  Do you believe “thinking” while eating has ever caused you to eat more?



  1. Sarah says:

    OH EM GEE….This is scary. I'll probably never snack on anything but vegetables while I study ever again!

  2. Marko-V says:

    So, this is your reason for being overweight right? No, seriously, great observation. Forces one to think critical.

    Get @

  3. ela says:

    death: cheetos red hots while doing stats. never- AGAIN.

  4. Sophie says:

    I think that it depends on your habits. Some people can barely fit in the time to prepare a healthy meal, and those that manage to have that time, rarely study whilst cooking. If you make yourself a meal, then take the plate to where you study after putting away the leftovers in the fridge and tidying up, you won't be as likely to overeat. It would take extra effort to get up to go to the kitchen, take out the leftovers, heat them up…

    I think its the sitting on one's ass and eating junk food (as opposed to preparing meals) whilst not getting enough sleep (cramming and staying upa) is a good reason for this…

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