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Easy Ways to Eat the Wrong Things

Posted Oct 07 2008 6:17pm

One of my goals is to find easy ways to eat the right things. Sounds like a simple enough task, but sometimes it's hard finding the right things to eat, never mind making it easy. However, it is all too easy to find ways to eat the wrong things... the fast food drive-thru, the prepackaged, frozen, instant, microwavable food (or non-food) lining the supermarket shelves. Now add to that list the trappings of the buffet line.

Oh yes, I justify my visits to the local salad/soup/starch buffet restaurant by filling up my first plate with veggies, veggies, and more veggies. But there's also the garlic bread, the homemade noodle soup, the mac 'n' cheese, the frozen yogurt machine... oh wait... I was trying to make a point here....

Here's an article from that proves that people who are carrying around some extra weight seem to behave differently at the buffet place than folks who are not:

"What's crazy is that these people are generally unaware of what they're doing – they're unaware of sitting closer, facing the food, chewing less, and so on," say Brian Wanink, lead author of this study and of the book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think."

The study was published in the journal Obesity and includes observations of 213 diners at 11 all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant buffets across the country. Study participants included a range of normal weight to obese diners, none of whom were Asian. Major study findings include:

27% of normal-weight patrons faced the buffet compared to 42% of obese diners.

Overweight diners sat an average of 16 feet closer than normal-weight diners.

16% of obese diners sat at a booth rather than a table compared to 38% of normal weight diners

71% of normal-weight diners browsed the buffet before serving themselves compared to 33% of obese diners

24% of normal-weight people used chopsticks compared with 9% of overweight people

"When food is more convenient people tend to eat more," say coauthor Collin R. Payne, New Mexico State University.

"These seemingly subtle differences in behavior and environment may cause people to overeat without even realizing it."

Whew, I don't ever go to any Chinese buffet places, so I'm safe, right? Or... am I? Seems like this is something that needs further pondering. Think it could translate to other buffet situations? Yeah... I do... is on the lookout for easy ways to eat the right things, and becoming more aware of how much easier it is to eat the wrong things.
I'm getting off the fast food treadmill and becoming part of the Whole Food Nation.
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