Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The 'Freakonomics of food'

The good news behind our mindless eating

Do you hate Brussels sprouts because your mother did" Does the size of your plate determine how hungry you feel" Why do you actually overeat at healthy restaurants"

"You can ask your smartest friend why he or she just ate what they ate, and you won’t get an answer any deeper than, 'It sounded good,'" says Brian Wansink, Ph.D.), author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," and Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

Dubbed the "Freakonomics of food" by the Canadian Broadcasting Commission, Mindless Eating, uses hidden cameras, two-way mirrors, and hundreds of studies to show why we eat what and how much we eat. "The unique thing about his work is that it cleverly answers everyday questions about food and shows translates them into Good News – how we can improve it," said Seth Roberts, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Take how much we eat. Wansink claims we typically don’t overeat because we are hungry or because the food tastes good. Instead we overeat because of the cues around us – family and friends, packages and plates, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.

Consider your holiday ice cream bowl. If you spoon 3 ounces of ice cream onto a small bowl, it will look like a lot more than if you had spooned it into a large bowl. Even if you intended to carefully follow your diet, the larger bowl would likely influence you to serve more. This tricks even the pros.

During one holiday party, Wansink and his Lab put this to the test by inviting 63 distinguished nutritional science professors at a leading university to an holiday ice cream social. When they arrived, they were given either medium-size 17-ounce bowls or large-size 34-ounce bowls. "Even though these people think, sleep, lecture and study nutrition," Wansink said, "They still served themselves and ate 31 percent more ice cream (106 more calories) if they had been given a big bowl."

If experts can’t control mindless eating, what help is there for the rest of us" Here’s the good news reassures Wansink, "As Mindless Eating shows, what we eat and how much we eat – is so automatic, the easiest changes are those that are smallest."

At a holiday buffet" Use a smaller plate, or put only two items on your plate during any given trip to the table. Return as many times as you like, but only take two items each time.

Meticulous studies outline why we are consistently influenced, but they also provide the silver lining. If we know that we tend to pour 28% more into short wide glasses than in tall thin ones, the secret is simply getting rid of the short glasses.

Sandra Cuellar | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>