In an article written by Bonnie Liebman of Nutrition Action, she details the findings of Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing in the Applied Economics and Management Department at Cornell University, on how what we see is what we eat.
For example, did you know…
that “if you want to be skinny, you have to think skinny, not wide”? Dyson explains that “we” are more apt to overeat from a wide bowl than from a taller, skinner bowl or glass. He states that in the wild, animals view wide things as safer and not as much of a threat as tall things. He offers the case that if children are left to choose something to eat from a tall and skinny container versus a wide and fat container (even if the wide one actually holds more) they always go for the tall one because they think there is more in it. Guess who else knows this? The people who develop the packaging for our “favorite” foods. Next time you are at the store, take a minute and notice. If two similar products are next to each other, try to figure out which one is smaller by “look”. I’ll bet, more times than not, the one that is “smaller” is only not as wide as its “competitor”. But it will be almost as tall if not taller.
that we eat more when we use larger bowls and spoons? Yes. In one study, adults ate 53 percent more ice cream when the sizes of the spoons and bowls were switched for bigger ones.
that we eat more when foods are labeled “small”? People don’t believe that can due harm to their “diet” for eating “such a ‘small’ amount”.
that we eat more servings of something if we know it’s “organic”? Almost any food with a healthy or nutritious term fools people into thinking that there are fewer calories in the product, even if the term has nothing to do with calories.
that we don’t know how to serve ourselves? That’s right, Dyson took several young men and women into buffet lines and tracked how they filled their plate. When monitoring the women, the one behind mimicked the first. If the woman put too much or too “little” food on the plate, the second did in kind. When it came to the men…according to Dyson, they all ate ‘like pigs”.
that if you put ready-to-eat fruit and veggies in a big bowl in the center shelf of the refrigerator, you’ll eat from there instead of the drawers? So keep any “junk” food out of the line of site and hone in on healthier choices.
that we tend to eat more of what we see first. For example, when fruit was first up at a buffet line, more of that was eaten than anything else. Similarly, when bacon and eggs were at the head, the pattern held true. The same is true at home. What normally gets put on the table first (bread maybe) that is what is most often eaten. So, stick with healthy choices as a first course.
that people eat more when they sit at a table with someone who eats quickly than with someone who eats slowly? Sorry Tracy!
So people, remember if you eat what you see then you truly are what you eat!
So, what happen today (April 14) in history? Well two events stick out. First in 1865 President Lincoln was shot and in 1912 the Titanic hit The Iceberg. And out of curiosity, since they were both blockbuster movies, I checked…they each won the Oscar for Production Design. An interesting tidbit I think.