Want armor against an onslaught of advertising? Just chew some popcorn, a study suggests. Eating the stuff during movie ads leaves viewers "immune" to the cravings those ads might otherwise inspire, researchers say. That's because, as the Guardian reports, we typically subtly mouth brand names each time we see their advertisements. But when our mouths are full, it prevents us from drilling the names into our heads through repetition.
Researchers had 96 subjects watch a movie with ads beforehand. While half of viewers ate popcorn, the other half had quick-dissolving sugar cubes. Following the film, subjects received a test. Those who'd had sugar cubes had positive responses to the ads, whereas those who'd eaten popcorn weren't affected. "The mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to the pervasive effects of advertising," says a researcher. That could prompt theaters to stop serving such snacks, he suggests.