I have a friend who tests her young diabetic son’s blood sugar hourly. When he’s playing on the computer, she tells me, it drops like a stone—which certainly lends some real-world credence to a recently released study that points to the fact that people engaged in activities that tax the brain get hungrier than people vegging out.
According to MSNBC, researchers tested three groups: One relaxed, one summarized a text, and the third completed a series of tests on the computer. Afterward, all three groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. Researchers found that, while thinking only consumed about three more calories than resting, the test subjects who had done the computer tests chowed 29.4 percent more calories than the resting group.
The culprit seems to be glucose, which the brain uses as fuel. The brain chews through the glucose while working, then demands that the body replenish its stores. The article goes on to note—DUH!—that without extra exercise, eating more calories after intellectual work can lead to obesity.