Game Day Party Experiment: Mindless Eating = More Eating

Game Day Party Experiment: Mindless Eating = More Eating

Food & Drink

Game Day Party Experiment: Mindless Eating = More Eating


By Cari Martens

If you’re hosting a Game Day watch party this weekend, you may want to conduct a little chicken wing experiment first conducted by Brian Wansink.

Food researcher Brian Wansink is author of the book ‘Mindless Eating.’ In it he tries to explain why we eat more than we think we do.

In one of his studies, the Cornell researcher invited students over to a party to watch the Big Game. He separated them into two separate groups and served both groups the Super Bowl favorite: chicken wings. One group had the bones cleared away from the table as they ate, while the other group’s bones were left to pile up.

The students who had the bones left in front of them ate substantially less than the group whose bones were cleared away. Wansink’s point being, the more you’re aware of what you’re eating, the less you eat.

Wansink isn’t really suggesting you leave everyone’s chicken bones lying around at Sunday’s Gridiron watch party. He does recommend using smaller plates and bowls and using thin and tall wine glasses to avoid over pouring.

Currently serving as the Executive Director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Wansick offers a few other suggestions and insights.

  • Moving from a 12-inch to a 10-inch dinner plate leads people to serve and eat 22% less.
  • A person will eat an average of 92% of any food they serve themselves.
  • The average person makes in excess of 250 decisions about food each day.
  • Low-fat labels lead people to eat 16-23% more total calories.
  • The Nutritional Gatekeeper of a home influences an estimated 72% of all of the food their family eats.
  • 50% of the snack food bought in bulk (such as at a warehouse club store) is eaten within six days of purchase.

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