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According to research published in the American Psychological Associations’ Psychological bulletin, eating a wide variety of snacks and buffet food may be the cause of weight gain.

Scientists from the University of Buffalo believe that the modern diet encourages overeating by offering a diverse range of interesting foods, decreasing the effects of satiation on the eater, the feeling of being satisfied. On the other hand, sticking to a more boring diet with repetitive meals and foodstuffs could dull the palate so that people eat less.

Hollie Raynor and Dr Leonard Epstein, who authored the report, commented: “Both people and animals will eat more food when a meal or diet contains a greater variety of food, which can eventually cause weight gain.”

The researchers added that to avoid obesity, it could be useful to cut out energy-dense snacks.