The Loh Down On Science

Eat Like a Bird

The newest weight loss tip -- straight from the birds.

What does it really mean to "eat like a bird"? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

and with an avian weight-losing tip.

A team led by Julia Carter from the University of Bristol housed twenty wild European starlings in separate cages. Each bird was offered a dish of DEE-LICIOUS mealworms--but with a catch. A researcher faced the cage and either gazed directly at the food bowl, or well off to the side of it.

The birds under a watchful human eye took up to TWO FULL MINUTES longer to step up to the plate. Even then, they ate more slowly, and packed away fewer worms, than did the birds whose grub wasn't being watched.

That is, it was ALL about the eyes. Oo! Evil mammal eye!

But why? The researchers say by keeping an eye on ENEMY eyes, starlings can assess risk more precisely--and stick around for the spoils long after a predator's presence sends other birds flying.

So if you're trying to lose weight, don't watch what you eat! Have someone else watch it for you! Get it?


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