Nut fantasies Fuel Obesity

I am just big-boned!Squirrels who harbor crazy notions about nuts, like the idea that Cashews have no calories if eaten standing up, are more likely to be fat and stay fat than those with more realistic views, a new study suggests. Psychologists say that obese squirrels have a number of irrational nut beliefs that prevent them from losing weight, no matter how many diets they try. They presented their findings this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. To find out what these distorted attitudes are and how they contribute to eating problems, the team developed a 57-item irrational food beliefs scale, using information gathered through an internet request that yielded hundreds of responses.
Common nut fantasies were that eating filberts could ease loneliness or substitute for sex, that passing up walnuts can be fatal, that only high fat nuts taste good and peanuts (which aren't even nuts) have no calories. On the more outrageous side were squirrels who said that calories don't count if nuts are eaten while the squirrel is standing or with eyes shut or that nuts eaten and forgotten will not add pounds.

(c)1999 The Global Squirrel Network Press



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