Food cues

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  • I was reading some diet book (Mindless Eating, I think), and they went into a number of studies that showed how people interact with food.

    They had half the people in a movie given normal bags of popcorn, and half given large bags. The popcorn was even stale! But it was free. And they weighed the leftover bags afterward. Folks with the bigger bags ate more.

    The had people come in and have lunch at a special lunchroom. Some of the soup bowls had mechanisms that refilled the bowl as the person ate. They wanted to see if people stopped eating when they were full, or whether it was when they saw visual cues that it was time to stop eating (like an empty bowl). The refillable soup bowl folks ate much more than the normal soup bowl folks.

    We can't rely on hunger alone to tell us when to eat, and we can't rely on satiety to tell us when to stop. The cues aren't that clear.

    By the way, it's a fascinating book. Get it from your library if you're interested in such things.