A new fascinating article published in the journal Appetite takes a look at how a certain unusual item just might help you lose weight. The item? Tetris. We found this so fascinating that we’ve invited dietician Todd Meister for an exclusive interview to discuss the Tetris diet phenomena. Is it true? Can it be validated? Let’s find out.
Gowanus Lounge: Welcome Todd. Thanks for being with us today.
Todd Meister: My pleasure. I’m always happy to discuss health issues and to help New York to slim down.
GL: Ok, so let’s get right to the meat of it. Can you tell us the basis of what the health study had to say?
Meister: First of all, keep in mind that there are many, many studies published each year about various fad diets and various ways to stay fit. With that context, the study shows that cravings have a large visual component to them. And if you’re doing something very visual, it’s hard to think of something else visual. So, a game like Tetris, which is so visual, will help to distract people from their cravings.
GL: Hmmm….Do you buy it?
Meister: Here’s the problem. Yes, Tetris can distract you and keep you from visualizing your craving, but how much Tetris are you going to play in a given day? Will it distract your cravings for 10 minutes, but then in 10 minutes you’ll be back at the fridge. You can’t replace the visual imagery all day in this way.
GL: What would the authors of the study say about this point?
Meister: Well, Jackie Andrade, the study author from Plymouth University in England explained that most cravings don’t last for a long time. So, when you find yourself with a craving, you can reach for your Tetris game instead of your cigarette, French fries, coke or drugs and that a quick game of Tetris should make the craving tolerable until it ends.
GL: Interesting. Was this a large study?
Todd Meister: They actually looked at 100 men who were between the ages of 18 and 30. They let one set of men play Tetris while the other had to wait for a computer program to load. They found that cravings in the set of Tetris players were immediately reduced by 24%. It’s an interesting idea, but quite a small study. The idea would have to be examined on a much larger scale to take much from it. But, hey, a few games of Tetris never hurt anyone. So if you find yourself with a craving, it’s worth a try.
GL: Fascinating. Thanks so much for joining us today. Anyone up for a game of Tetris?