It’s true: your kitchen (and the rest of your house or office) is making you fat. Dr. Brian Wansink, one of my favorite behavior researchers, says so in his new book Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life”.
For years Brian, and his sometimes side-kick Dr. James Painter, have been studying why we overeat. Unbeknownst to them, graduate students at Cornell and movie-goers have been subjects of his intake studies. Bottomless soup bowls and all-you-can-eat stale movie theater popcorn has taught us that the bigger the container, the more we eat.
“Out of sight, out of mouth” essentially is his mantra. By keeping counter tops clear of food or snacks you can eliminate visual cues to eat. Wansink has research that shows “women who had even one box of breakfast cereal on their counter weighed an average of 21# more than their neighbor” who didn’t”.
- We eat less in restaurants when we are seated in a well-lit area or near a window.
- We pour 12% less into taller white wineglasses than into wider red wine glasses because we focus on the height, not the width.
- And because red wine is easier to see than white, we pour (and drink) about 9% less.
The goal is to organize our space in a way where these tricks become the norm. This interview on youtube will give some sense of the book.