Playing Tetris Stops Food Cravings

TetrisAre you battling the urge to eat? Or addicted to cigarettes? Gotta have Sex? No problem, just play Tetris and you’ll find the urge lessens! Report from Discovery News:

If cravings are running your life, try playing Tetris. The computer game can lessen the urge for a doughnut, chocolate, a cigarette or maybe even sex, finds a new study published in the journal Appetite.

“We know that cravings are associated with drug use, and early dropout of weight-loss programs,” said Jackie Andrade, a psychology professor at Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute in the U.K. “They make life difficult.”

“It’s not pleasant to be craving,” agreed psychologist David Kavanagh of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

“It’s great to really want to eat or make love, if that’s possible right now. But it’s a torture if you can’t. So, if we can help people deal with craving — blunt it a bit, or give them some time out — it can not only help them stay in control, but it may make them feel a bit better as well.”

The Plymouth researchers, led by Jessica Skorka-Brown, tested the effects of Tetris on individuals who reported “natural” cravings of varying degrees — as opposed to cravings deliberately generated by researchers with chocolates, for instance.

One group of cravers played Tetris and the other waited as a computer program loaded and never finished loading. After the screen time the subjects again were asked to rate their cravings.

They found that the Tetris players experienced 24 percent weaker cravings than those who waited unsuccessfully for the game to load…


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • misinformation

    Most likely, this is due to the high fat diets of the grad student “researchers”, involved in the “study”.

  • Thurlow Weed

    I have resisted the urge to have sex by playing Quake III Arena. These days, however, not many gamers play that fps, so I’m back to having sex constantly in order to satisfy my incessant urges.

  • Damien Quinn

    My name is Damien and I’ve been addicted to tetris for three years. I been clean for six months now, although my sock drawer is packed super tight………

  • Earthstar

    Making people wait “as a computer program loaded and never finished loading” is an effective control group to compare Tetris players to. If anything she’s proven that frustration does nothing for cravings while pleasant distraction does, which everyone intuitively knows already.

  • Spasmodius

    Eating food has quelled my Tetris cravings for over three decades.
    So it’s good to hear it works the other way round as well.

  • Mr Grim

    I like to play Tetris while having sex…

    But seriously: they discovered that distracting people has the effect of… distracting people…? And this is somehow news?

    • American Cannibal

      They should give that Norwegian Murderer Tetris instead of PS3, distract him from murder, and crazy stuff.

      • Mr Grim

        Just long as it’s the iOS version with the shitty swipe controls. There’s too much satisfaction involved in playing the Gameboy/DS versions, which he clearly doesn’t deserve.

        • American Cannibal

          You clearly know more about video games than I do. I’ll leave the details to you. I’ll handle big picture stuff.