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Imagine eating more, and actually eat less

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by Aimee Keenan-Greene 

Letting visions of sugarplums dance in your head may be a diet aid after all! 

A new study in the journal Science says imagining your food first leads to less consumption. 

Researchers say the more people dwelled on a food, the less responsive or motivated they were to obtain it.  

The study concluded people who repeatedly imagined eating a food many times consumed less of the imagined food than did people who repeatedly imagined eating it fewer times, imagined eating a different food, or did not imagine eating a food. They desired to eat it less, they did not considered it less palatable. 

This moment on the mind,  instead of the lips, could be a new weapon to fight childhood obesity, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says has more than tripled in the past 30 years. 

Earlier this year the  National Governors Association report  detailed the progress states are making in the fight against childhood obesity. 

In Rhode Island for example, "In 2007, approximately 18% of children aged 24 to 59 months in Rhode Island were overweight and 17% were obese, rates that were slightly higher than the national averages of 16% overweight and 15% obese. Rhode Island high school students were on a par with students nationally for overweight, with figures of 16% both statewide and nationally, and a state obesity rate of 11% that was two points lower than the national average." 

More food for thought in the battle of the bulge, according to the NGA, one-third of American children - nearly 23 million - are overweight or obese.

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