Brian Wansink loaned me the title for this article. I borrowed it from his forthcoming book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More That We Think.
The book, which I read in galley proofs, is not only great research but also great writing. I hope that it will be a best-seller, and I have every expectation that it will be. Bantam Books will publish it as a hardcover on October 17 for $25, ISBN 978-0-553-80434-8. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.com .
Professor Wansink, the director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, has spent 20 years studying the hidden cues that determine how we eat. He has worked on more that 250 studies and has written more than 100 journal articles about our eating behavior.
He told me about his new book when I corresponded with him about one of those studies. I reported on that study, “Size Matters,” here .
The book is every bit as useful and interesting as that study of the cues that we get from the size of the bowls and silverware that we use. That ...
I’d heard of this briefly once a few years ago: Type 1 diabetics running their blood sugars very high regularly and purposefully to lose weight. Apparently, this frightening habit has become a sort of weight-loss fad most commonly among young women and teenagers. And not only will skipping your insulin and running around 400 all day make you groggy and nauseous, it will inevitably lead to problems involving your kidneys, eyes and limbs. This is NOT new information. What boggles my mind about this bizarre weight-loss method is that you are literally sacrificing a functioning body for a pair of size-two pants. I don’t get it. Women make jokes about “dying to be thinner,” but this is literally doing just that. Aside from the body image issues surrounding the world of any young female in this society, I have a suspicion denial plays a large part here. Anyone with Type 1 diabetes knows very well the results of high blood sugar, but this extreme lack of heal...
How much we eat matters. It determines our size, which in turn is the most important part of controlling our diabetes.
But what determines how much we eat? It can’t be just because we are hungry, since almost everyone overeats sometimes. We get cues from our environment.
The good news is that we can control one of these cues, which gives us a simple way to guide ourselves to eating less. For a long time some dieters have assumed that this cue works. Now we have the scientific proof that it does.
The size of the bowls that we eat out of and the size of the spoons that we use to serve ourselves matters. Most of us can use smaller bowls and spoons to help ourselves better control how much we eat. On the other hand, people who need to put on weight can use bigger bowls and spoons.
It’s just an illusion. But even when we know that it is an illusion it can help us. After learning about this research, I have shifted from serving myself in big bowls to small bowls and on dinner plates...
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