Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact on your Beltline
> 10/11/2006 10:52:28 AM

Dr. Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, spends a lot of time in his kitchen. Only this lavish kitchen isn't the one in his home, it is the intricately constructed research facility where he conducts many of his experiments relating to eating habits and overindulgence. We'll probably be seeing a fair amount of Dr. Wansink over the next week or two as his new book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, hits shelves on the 17th.

Dr. Wansink's message isn't particularly groundbreaking, but he has put in a great deal of creative study and can make some sensible and realistic suggestions that will help most anyone. Some of his ideas, once you've heard them, seem like common sense, but that hasn't stopped most of us from making the eating mistakes he hopes to correct. A number of Dr. Wansink and his team's suggestions can help cut calories without demonstrably affecting general life satisfaction. Some of these include:The idea is that with small changes in your environment--smaller plates and spoons, leaving pots on the stove instead of the table when eating, not using exercise as an excuse to consume more than usual--a person can lose weight without making sweeping lifestyle changes. Wansink cautions, the weight loss isn't going to exorbitant, but instead a reduction in calories will lead to a generally healthier diet and slow but steady weight loss.

Mindless Eating isn't going to shake up the world and set our country on the path to dwindling obesity levels, but it doesn't represent a plan to make Americans healthier. Some corporations have already used Wansink's research to make their offerings a little healthier, offering smaller portions in hopes that consumers will stop eating when they get to the end of the bag. According to Wansink and the folks at Columbia's Food and Brand Lab, that strategy will lead to healthier consumers with no real loss to producers.


this is fascinating, (I particularly liked the popcorn study) it's always the simple common sense ideas that get taken for granted and overlooked in favour of complex diets and fads. We need more people like Dr Wansink having the courage to remind us!
Posted by: Eleanor 10/12/2006 7:04:54 AM

Ater years of working with women in weightloss, the greatest success has been when changes are made as permenant simple lifestyle changes. I agree fully with Dr Wansinik, simple changes, something they can live with forever, results in weight loss. Great weight loss occurs when responsibility for their lifestyle patterns is assumed, and understanding that once across the lips it goes to the hips, unless the hips move more than the lips.
Posted by: Dunning, FNP 10/17/2006 7:13:21 AM

I have to disagree with the Editor in Chief's comment that "Mindless Eating isn't going to shake up the world and set our country on the path to dwindling obesity levels". It can if we spread the word. In less than two weeks by following the advice from the book I have lost 15 pounds, without feeling deprived. I think this book could potentially be the bible of weightloss. I have always been exercise focused, but paying attention to my mindless margin has made a big difference in my weight loss and attitude about food. I feel empowered, and will tell all my patients about the concepts in this book rather than just saying "diet and exercise".
Posted by: Reynold Duclas Jr 1/14/2007 8:27:16 AM

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