03/04/2015 08:05 am ET | Updated Mar 04, 2015

Sad Movies Make You Eat More

A "tear-jerker" should be redefined as a "gut-buster." As it turns out, watching sad movies can take a toll on your waistline.

According to a new study from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, moviegoers tend to eat more at a drama than a comedy. More specifically, researchers found that viewers ate 28 percent more popcorn when watching "Love Story" (a tragedy that is considered to be one of the most romantic films of all time) compared to those who watch "Sweet Home Alabama" (a rom-com with Reese Witherspoon...).

Researchers also analyzed discarded popcorn tubs from the movies "Solaris" (sad) and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (not sad) and found fewer kernels in the trash of the former. Those who watched the somber flick ate an average of 55 percent more popcorn than those who laughed along with the Portokalos family.

If this news tickles your tear ducts, fear not. You don't have throw away your tissue box and swear off the movies you love to cry-watch. "Sad movies also lead people to eat more of any healthy food that’s in front of them,” Dr. Brian Wansink, the study's lead author and a professor at Cornell, said in a statement. “It’s a quick and mindless way of getting more fruit or veggies into your diet.” In other words, you might consider sneaking a healthy salad into the theater and skipping the concession stand all together. This way, you'll satisfy your impulse to eat (and hey, lettuce isn't really any crunchier than popcorn), without wrecking your diet. If that sounds like too much work, you could also bring in a couple of healthy snacks to replace the movie popcorn, which can surpass 1,000 calories when super-sized.


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