Clutter in your physical surroundings – such as messy kitchens, induces a sense of chaos and can cause stressful feelings of being out of control, which in turn prompts overeating.
According to a study published in the journal – Environment And Behavior, a combination of messy, chaotic and stressful environment leads to more unhealthy snacking.
The study is the latest to show how cluttered kitchens can influence us to over-eat, not just any food, but sweets specifically. Researchers designed a small experiment to understand a link between our food-environment and how it affects our behavior.
Hundred women participants were picked for the study. They were all given a writing assignment, some were asked to write about a time when they felt out of control and the others about a time when they felt in control. Participants were then placed in a messy or tidy kitchen, one at a time.
Both the kitchens had bowls of cookies, carrots and crackers. Participants were told to help themselves with these snacks and to eat as much as they wanted.
Researchers discovered that participants in the messy kitchen who wrote about their out of control experience consumed twice as many calories from the cookies (103 calories) compared to those who were in the neat and tidy kitchen under controlled mind set conditions.
When the women’s responses in the messy kitchen were compared, it was found that those who felt in control consumed lesser calories (average 38 calories) than those who felt out of control.
When it came to eating crackers or carrots the researchers found that none of the kitchen conditions had an effect, suggesting messiness only affects people’s inclination to eat sweets. Thus maintaining a calm, clutter-free kitchen environment can stop us from overeating sugary snacks.
Another reason why you should get on that de-clutter spree right away – it will bring in a state of calmness and overall well-being, and help rid you of over-eating!