Living in view of a park or garden reduces cravings for chocolate, cigarettes ...

Living in view of a park or garden reduces cravings for chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol, study finds Researchers said nature could reduce bad emotions which in turn stop cravings Participants were asked to reveal their deepest cravings and time spent in nature It could lead to larger studies to understand how cravings work

By Vanessa Chalmers Health Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 14:55 BST, 12 July 2019 | Updated: 14:58 BST, 12 July 2019

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Living somewhere with a view of a park or garden could reduce your cravings for chocolate, cigarettes or alcohol, a study has found.

Researchers claim being surrounded by green space leads to people having fewer negative feelings and therefore less of a tendency to reach for unhealthy treats.  

Exposure to nature even in small amounts has been shown to improve general wellbeing.

And the researchers said this could help understand the causes of cravings and therefore improve insight into diseases caused by excess, such as obesity and diabetes.

Living with a view of a park or garden reduces cravings for chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol, a study University of Plymouth has found (stock image)

Living with a view of a park or garden reduces cravings for chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol, a study University of Plymouth has found (stock image)

The study, led by the University of Plymouth, asked 149 participants to complete an online survey about where they lived and their guilty pleasures.

Participants selected items for which they regularly experienced cravings – most people said food (38 per cent) or chocolate (32 per cent).

Addictive items were also an often-reported choice, with caffeine topping 16 per cent of people's lists, nicotine five per cent and alcohol nine per cent.  

Among other things, the study measured the proportion of green space in each participant's neighbourhood, the amount of greenery they could see from their home, their access to a garden or allotment and how often they went to a public green space like a park.

The results showed that those who had access to a garden or allotment, or had a view from their house at least a quarter made up of green space experienced cravings both less frequently and with less intensity. 

Leanne Martin, who led the research as part of her master's degree in Plymouth, said: 'It has been known for some time that being outdoors in nature is linked to a person's wellbeing. 

'But for there to be a similar association with cravings

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