Sunday, April 7, 2013

Eating till your hearts full

There is a heavy correlation between college students, and their excitement with all you can eat food settings.  In most situations, if given the opportunity to eat as much as we want, college students have no reservations. 

Every Friday night, my Ultimate Frisbee team has a pasta party potluck after our practice.  It is almost an impossible task to implement portion control to hungry college athletes given mounds and mounds of pasta.  I decided to try my best to exercise portion control for myself, as well as observe this phenomenon known as mindless eating.  Brian Winsink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, describes mindlessly eating:
“Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.”
What is it that is influencing us to over-consume and throw away our inhibition?  Listening to our body is no longer a cue to stop, so what is cuing us? 
Winsink answers in an article about mindless eating that larger portions may make us eat more.  For example, he did an experiment that gave one person a large bag of popcorn, and the other a small, and found that the person given the larger portion size ate more.  He determined that if given larger portions, people are shown to consume more despite what they’re tummy is telling them. 
Another cue I recognized at our potluck was that variety might make people eat more.  Our pasta party was filled with deferent types of pasta, and we wanted the chance to try all of them.  Then when I found one I liked I helped myself to seconds.   

Most of my teammates left the pasta party feeling uncomfortably full and incapacitated for the remainder of the night.  Though, while eating we were mindless of our destined future.  Any time we do not listen to our body, chances are we are not making the healthiest decisions for our body.  Also, chances are, mindless eating does not occur in the same manner when we are given endless amounts of lettuce.  I mean for goodness sake, haven’t we all learned from the book “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”?  It ends in a tornado of spaghetti.

What other cues do you think influence over-consumption?  And how do we prevent from feeling like this 'lil guy:

WP 4/5

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