December 18, 2006

It's a scientific fact: People cannot judge food portions

We can't do it alone. But we can change the restaurants in America.

All the advice from all of the experts says Americans must eat appropriate portions. But according to many studies cited in Brian Wansink's brillant book, Mindless Eating, Americans are just not adept at deciding what's enough:
Considering our imperfect food memory, it seems that the last person we should rely on to stop eating is ourselves...We're just not designed to accurately keep track of how much we've consumed.
Wansink goes into great scientific detail showing that we take our cues in eating from many different sources. Size is one of them. And we just can't figure out how many calories are in our food today. In his studies we consistently underestimate the amount of food we have eaten.

In a test of medium vs large popcorn bowls, Wansink found that we eat more with a large popcorn bowl even if the popcorn was stale, and we had eaten right before the popcorn.

In a study with a special bottomless soup bowl, restaurant goers tried to eat until they were full. Yet compare with the normal soup bowl, eaters with the bottomless bowl ate much more.

But can this blog and others change the world?

Well, Time Magazine yesterday said, yes. It named YOU the person of the year. Every person in America that blogs, posts a video, or shares information on the web, is the person of the year, and has the power to start forcing food establishments to serve us the RightSize.

Let's use this power for good.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Very nice article -- Time magazine is right.

More can be found on "MindlessEating.org." Happy Holidays.