Following recent studies that revealed that scientists who incorporate pop culture into their shaming are twice as likely to be written up in blogs, a group of researchers at Cornell University has announced that watching action movies has a correlation to overeating junk food, as does so many of life’s activities. The report comes on the heels of revelations that binge-watching television is not particularly healthy, and that those who become engrossed in their favorite shows tend to snack more. Each of these forms a part of a larger thesis that the human race is disgusting and self-destructive, so why should science even bother with cancer?
In conducting the study, researchers grouped 94 college students in rooms stocked with large bowls of M&Ms, cookies, carrots, and grapes, and told them to eat as much as they wanted for free. The researchers then ruined the best afternoon a college student has ever had by randomly assigning them one of three scenarios: watching a 20-minute excerpt of Michael Bay’s The Island; watching 20 minutes of The Charlie Rose Show; or watching the same excerpt of The Island with the sound off.
The findings were obvious: Researchers hate college students. Also, those who watched The Island with the sound on ate 98 percent more food than Charlie Rose viewers, and gravitated toward snacks that matched the cheap, instantly regrettable gratification on the screen. Meanwhile, matching the pace and viewer engagement of The Charlie Rose Show, dozens of students died. (Or consumed far fewer calories, either one.)
“We find that if you’re watching an action movie while snacking, your mouth will see more action too!” said the study’s author, Aner Tal, in a statement that ended in an exclamation point highlighting how much fun they had dicking off for an afternoon. He then explained that action movies with lots of quick camera cuts easily distract the viewer, even when the sound is off, causing them to pay less attention to what they eat or to how their intelligence is being insulted. Therefore, those who want to avoid overindulging could limit themselves to only having healthy snacks around—a theory that, again, required an entire scientific study to postulate—or by only watching Charlie Rose, until they gradually lose the will to live.
Nevertheless, Tal also conceded that certain other factors may contribute to overeating while watching action-oriented programming, and that this will “require further studies to confirm”—studies for which his lab will need lots more videos and way more M&Ms, for science.