Want to Curb Food Cravings? This Old-School Video Game Can Help, Says Science

Playing Tetris may actually reduce our addictions to food, smoking, alcohol, and even sex, a Plymouth University study says
Staff Writer

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Conor Lawless/ CC License 2.0

Imagine each little block crushing your cravings for sugar and fat.

A study has found a new way to curb food cravings, and it comes from an unusual source.

According to a Plymouth University study, students who played the game of Tetris for more than three minutes daily found that their cravings for food, as well as smoking, alcohol, sex, and other vices, had greatly diminished. On average, craving strength for participants’ addictions decreased from 70 percent to 56 percent cravings after playing the game daily.

“We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity,” researcher Jackie Andrade told Breitbart. “Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery; it is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time.”

The most amazing part? Even participants who played the game upwards of 40 times felt no diminishment in the “Tetris Effect.” So next time you’re craving a greasy burger and fries, you may want to dust off your Gameboy (or download the Tetris app) instead. 

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