Food speedbumps make you eat less

By » Fri, June 22 2012
WansinkChips 11 450x306 Food speedbumps make you eat less

Imma get my portion on, yeeah! (img by Robyn Wishna, Cornell food and brand lab Brian Wansink)

Fighting food is hard, because food loves us this much, and there’s so much food in food that by the time you fill up, you’ve had too much. But your stomach isn’t the only part of this, as Cornell researchers have found food can shame tell you when you’ve had just enough.

As part of an experiment carried out on two groups of college students (98 students total) while they were watching video clips in class, researchers from Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab served tubes of Lays Stackables, some of which contained chips dyed red.

Unaware of why some of the chips were red, the students who were served those tubes of chips nonetheless consumed about 50 percent less than their peers: 20 and 24 chips on average for the seven-chip and 14-chip segmented tubes, respectively, compared with 45 chips in the control group; 14 and 16 chips for the five-chip and 10-chip segmented tubes, compared with 35 chips in the control group.

“People generally eat what is put in front of them if it is palatable,” said Brian Wansink, Cornell Food and Brand Lab director. “An increasing amount of research suggests that some people use visual indication — such as a clean plate or bottom of a bowl — to tell them when to stop eating.”

“By inserting visual markers in a snack food package, we may be helping them to monitor how much they are eating and interrupt their semiautomated eating habits,” he added.

Of course, you don’t have to have companies put edible stop signs into your foods, you could like, put some on a plate and leave the tube of chips in the kitchen, seeing how this method of intake control only works with foodstuffs that are consumed linearly.

In a dire situation, though, there is only one true solution: destroy all snack foods!

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One Response

  1. Joel Busi on Facebook Joel Busi on Facebook June 22 2012 @ 8:31pm

    I’ve always wanted to shoot an arrow thru the hole of a doughnut.