January 02, 2004

Give this Guy a Medal!

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With self-refilling bowls of soup and jumbo buckets of stale popcorn, professor Brian Wansink has identified one culprit for U.S. obesity: excessive food portions.
In an article entitled "Researcher Links Obesity, Food Portions," this brilliant new discovery (and others) are set forth for our perusal and education.

    In the soup experiment, participants come to the lab expecting a taste test. Some bowls are rigged with hidden tubes that keep them full, while others are not.

    Over two years of the experiment, students with bottomless bowls tended to eat 40 percent more than test subjects with regular bowls.
Wow - amazing! This guy ought to move to Detroit for further studies of the obese creature. Actually, anybody who wants to look thinner compared to the population might want to consider moving to Detroit.

But back on topic:
    Wansink and other researchers hope the results can help the federal government devise more user-friendly nutrition labels for packaged foods. For example, instead of stating that a handful of granola has 200 calories, the label instead could say the consumer would have to walk 2 miles to burn it off.
Uh, Dr. or Mr. Wansink, please retrieve your brain from the water closet. I mean, really. Might I remind you that humans require energy from food? And while I agree measuring food portions to the gram does point toward the absurd, just...just...just STOP!

There's more.
    An experiment with Lay's Stax potato chips gave one group regular chips, a second group chips in which every seventh chip was red, and a third group chips in which every 14th chip was red.

    The groups weren't told the reason for the red chips but still used them to determine how much to eat, Wansink said. The participants who ate the least had the potato chips in which every seventh chip was red, followed by the group in which every 14th chip was red.
Sesame Street for portion control. Everybody count to 14!


Posted by hln at January 2, 2004 03:13 PM | Media: Stating the Obvious | TrackBack

I also notice that the soup experiment is done using - students!!!! Has this guy ever figured out that a "starving" college student might just volunteer to be a taste tester in order to save on a few food bills...

Not to mention the fact - not everyone who eats alot is overweight. My kids are excellent examples. They have always been able to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. And most annoyingly gain no weight! I was the only mother I knew who didn't tell my kids, no you can't have a snack, we're eating in half an hour. They could eat the snack and eat dinner - no problem. Often my son would eat dinner with a friend and come home and eat dinner with us too.

So these type of generalizations always make my hair stand on end!

Posted by: Teresa at January 2, 2004 09:23 PM

I concur with Teresa. I'm pretty much a "eat what I want" kind of guy. The thing is, between binges, I simply "don't want". I know what an empty stomach feels like, and if I don't feel it, I don't eat.

I guess some people let their mouths tell them when to eat instead of their stomachs.

Posted by: Harvey at January 3, 2004 03:06 PM

actually, when I speak to people that visited the United States, they all speak in awe about the size of food portions in the US. Really, you guys just eat more as the average European, and not because we don't have enough :-)

Posted by: Jo at January 7, 2004 01:54 PM