Navigation Links
'Mindless autopilot' drives people to underestimate food decisions

People estimate that, on average, they make about 15 food- and beverage-related decisions each day. But the truth is, they make more than 15 times that -- more than 200 such decisions.

Commenting on his new Cornell study, Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and of Applied Economics at Cornell, observed, "So many food decisions are made on mindless autopilot." The problem with making so many more food decisions than we are aware of, he said, is that "each of these small decisions is a point where a person can be unknowingly influenced by environmental cues."

When Wansink and Jeffery Sobal, Cornell professor or nutritional sciences, asked 139 university staff and students to estimate how many decisions they make about food each day, the average response was 15. However, when the volunteers then answered specific questions about when, what, how much and where they ate and who made decisions about meals, snacks and beverages, the researchers found that the staffers and students actually made an average of 221 food-related decisions each day.

The study is published in the January issue of Environment and Behavior.

"It's really easier than we think to let small things around us -- plate size, package size, people around us, distractions -- influence these 200-plus decisions because we are not aware of them in the first place," said Wansink.

"Rather than try to overly obsess about our food decisions, it's better to change the environment so that it works for us rather than against us, making it easier to make decisions to eat less," suggested Wansink.

Tips to prevent holiday overeating

To turn things around after a season of mindless eating and prepare for those New Year's resolutions, Wansink offers these research-based tips from his recent book, "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" (Bantam Books):

  • Use smaller bowls: People who served themselves foods into smaller serving bowls ate almost 60 percent less than when they are served helpings in larger bowls.
  • See it before you eat it: Avoid eating directly from the package. People served a snack mix in a bowl ate 134 fewer calories than those eating straight from the bag.
  • Bank your calories: Skip the appetizers if you know you want to save room -- and enjoy -- the upcoming dessert. You'll also be more accurate at estimating the number of calories you consumed.
  • Sit next to the slowest eater at the table: Use that person as a benchmark as to how slow you should eat. Always be the last one to start eating, and set your fork down after every bite.
  • Embrace your comfort food: Don't eat around the food you really want. Just eat it in a small portion.
  • To eat less without having to think about it, use the rule of two: Pick two of the following three: appetizer, a drink or a dessert.
  • Use the "half" rule of thumb: Fill half your plate with vegetables, the other half with protein and starch.
  • Think "back": Keep tempting treats in the back of the cupboard or refrigerator wrapped in aluminum foil. Office workers ate 23 percent less candy (around 50 calories) when it was in an opaque covered candy dish than a see-through dish.
  • Always sit at least an arm's length away from a buffet table or snack bowl.

'"/>

Source:Cornell University News Service


Related biology news :

1. Unchecked DNA replication drives earliest steps toward cancer
2. Climate change drives widespread amphibian extinctions
3. Habitat microstructure drives salamander metamorphosis
4. Buildup of damaged DNA in cells drives aging
5. A genetic gang of 4 drives spread of breast cancer
6. New insight into people who see colors in letters and numbers
7. Antiretroviral therapy may prevent excess risk of some cancers in people with HIV
8. Increased risk of osteoporosis associated with gene that one in five people have
9. Exercise training in ordinary people affects the activity of 500 genes
10. Brain activity related to processing faces is similar in people with, without autism
11. Newly identified mechanism helps explain why people of African descent are more vulnerable to TB
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 According to a new market research ... Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and ... is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD ... 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum and The ... through a series of upcoming panels and events. The partnership culminates with the ... Hotel in New York City. , “With our experience in producing the Immuno-Oncology 360° ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... Opal Kelly, a leading ... PCI Express, announced the release of SYZYGY™, a new open standard for connecting ... for a compact, low cost, low pin-count, high-performance connectivity solution between FPGAs and ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... August 11, 2017 , ... Algenist continues to disrupt the ... collagen like never before. , Collagen is the key structural element skin needs ... Liquid Collagen™, which include: , First to market with ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... The era of using extracellular ... The team at Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. utilized a cardiosphere-derived stem-like cell culturing process ... Dr. Travis Antes, head of analytical development at Capricor Therapeutics Inc., will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: