Have you seen the TV programme, Secret Eaters? You know, the one where people swear they don’t understand why they can’t seem to lose any weight, but are then seen on video eating three fry-ups before lunchtime?
I think that, to some extent, most of us are sometimes guilty of ‘mindless eating’ – eating without thinking, such as at our desks or in front of the TV, leading us to consume more calories than we think.
Picture yourself in front of a film with a big bag of popcorn or chocolate: you might plan to only have a few handfuls, but by the end of the film, you look down to find the bag empty, and you probably don’t even remember eating half of it!
In his book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (published by Bantam, available through Amazon), food psychologist Brian Wansink explains why we may not realize how much we are eating, what we’re eating, or why we’re eating at all.
Brian Wansink is a Stanford Ph.D. and the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. He’s spent a lifetime studying what we don’t notice: the hidden cues that determine how much and why people eat.
Using ingenious, fun, and sometimes downright fiendishly clever experiments like the “bottomless soup bowl,” Wansink takes us on a fascinating tour of the secret dynamics behind our dietary habits.
How does packaging influence how much we eat? Which films make us eat faster? How does music or the colour of the room influence how much we eat? How can we recognize the “hidden persuaders” used by restaurants and supermarkets to get us to mindlessly eat? What are the real reasons most diets are doomed to fail?
A really interesting read.