Action flicks are making you fat

A study found that viewing choice has a direct effect on the amount of snacks people consume in front of the TV.

Volunteers gobbled twice as much while glued to a fast-paced action thriller than when they were entertained by celebrities being interviewed.

Lead researcher Dr Aner Tal, from Cornell University in the US, said: "We find that if you're watching an action movie while snacking your mouth will see more action too.

"In other words, the more distracting the program is, the more you will eat."

The 94 students taking part in the study were allowed to snack on M&Ms, biscuits, carrots and grapes while watching TV for 20 minutes.

A third of the volunteers were shown part of the sci-fi action movie The Island, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson.

Another third viewed the same movie excerpt with no sound, while the remainder watched the Charlie Rose Show, a popular American chat show.