According to the Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Brian Wansink, PhD, we make 200 different food decisions a day.
No, that’s not a typo. I did mean “200.”
Think of all the food choices we have: whether or not to eat that dessert, whether to have a snack before dinner, whether to drink that small half-bottle of soda or go for the large one, whether to super-size my coffee, whether to add mayo to my sandwich.
I could go on forever.
Think about the food choices that you’ve already made today. I bet that even if you’re reading this blog first thing in the morning, you’ve already made a handful (or more) of food decisions.
At the time, some of these food choices must seem pretty minor, yet in retrospect, this may not be the case.
Take the snack that you ate recently. Did you eat a prepackaged serving or did you eat right from the box/carton/bag?
If you prepackaged the serving, you probably ate less than if you ate right from the larger container.
Why? Because Wansink’s research has shown that (1) we aren’t very good at “guestimating” a serving size and (2) the eating of a prepackaged snack generally provides us with a visual cue that we’re finished.
Without this visual cue, we are more likely to continue eating – for example, rather than eating just 3 cookies, we may finish the row of cookies, which would then be the visual cue to stop eating.
Now, let me ask you this . . . how would thinking about exercise affect your choice of how much to eat? The operative word here is thinking about exercise. Would that affect your choice?
What types of food choices are most detrimental to your patients’ health? Please leave a comment below.