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Mindless Eating - We All Do It

Aug 03, 2012

I’m once again reporting in from AADE in Indy.  How much education can we do and still have patients eating more than their bodies’ need?  We educate on portion control, dietary quality, hunger cues and still Americans keep getting bigger resulting in more and more people at risk for diabetes.  Brian Wansink, PhD, professor at Cornell University provided some great food for thought as he presented in a humorous yet thought provoking presentation the concept of Mindless Eating.  His research goes outside the box of teaching folks how to eat healthy and provides information to minimize overconsumption and make better, healthy choices.

His research includes using smaller plates and serving bowls, making fruit attractive by putting it in nicely, decorated bowls and positioning healthy food up front and center.  Just moving an “on wheels” salad bar to front and center (near the cash register) increased salad sales at one cafeteria.  Another great example was to move the sweetenened beverages from the front to the back of the glass refrigerator case at school and move milk and water to the front.  The choices are still there, but those students that grab-and-go went more often to the milk and water without even realizing they were making better choices.  All his thoughts could be integrated at home too, don’t you think?  Good stuff at the front of the cupboard, refrigerator and on the counter!

Point made…we should encourage an environment where it is easy for people to make good choices.  It is not just about knowing what to eat, but making it the easiest grab!

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