A new and, admittedly, limited study conducted at Cornell University demonstrates that action films may cause overeating in viewers, thereby reinforcing — but certainly not proving beyond all doubt — the already commonly held notion that Michael Bay is very, very bad for you.

The particular parameters of the study can be found in this AP article, but the basic set-up is this: a portion of the participants were subjected to — sorry, shown — the 2005 sci-fi thriller The Island, starring Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor. Others were shown segments of public television’s Charlie Rose. All viewing took place in a room crammed with snacks.

The end result is that participants snacked harder and heavier during The Island. If you’re thinking, “Well, sure, I’d rather watch Charlie Rose interview a bag of unsalted pretzels than sit that through that boring, fake-ass Gattaca,” we’re not judging you. But look past your gut feelings toward your gut. Imagine the ramifications of this research: If action movies, bad or otherwise, make us binge more, would slower, less intense films have the opposite effect?

To wit, we propose a low impact weight loss program comprised entirely of sitting on the couch watching great movies in which very little actually happens – let’s call it Playboy’s “My Dinner With Andre Diet.” Here are some other suggestions for healthy consumption:

Sense and Sensibility

Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight

Twelve Angry Men

Lost In Translation

The Trip

There Will Be Blood

Let the Right One In


Under the Skin

Medicine for Melancholy