Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Think Through the Chip!

     While I'm certainly an advocate of good self care (and in particular, eating a good diet!), I'm not quite sure I'm convinced of the validity of the findings in a recent Cornell study, cited in Science Daily, suggesting a a rather creative way to limit one's intake of potato chips. See article.
     In the study college students were monitored and given tubes of Pringles potato chips to snack on while watching TV. Some of the chips were dyed red and intermittently distributed throughout the stack, which, according to the study, caused the students to pause and ponder if they'd had enough, before eating more.
     According to Cornell Food and Brand Lab director Brian Wansink, "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 said.
     But hey, come on, the research aside, will this kind of approach really work? I don't think so! Anyone who's ever sat down with a tube of Pringles knows how difficult it is to just eat one. (Remember the Lay's slogan "I bet you can't eat just one?") After a quick pause, let's face it, I'm on to the next half dozen chips!
     Okay, I'm kidding... I guess. In all seriousness, any intervention that can cause a person to stop and reflect, albeit briefly, about some action he or she is about to take, and to consider the consequences of that action, that's probably a pretty good thing. 
     It's all about responding to situations we encounter (putting some space in between stimulus and response), rather than reacting (a more immediate action) -- and, as I said, that's a good thing.
     What do you think? Say more about that...

1 comment:

  1. I think I would want to keep eating until I got to the next red one! Isn't it true that a variety/variation in food increases the amount we consume.
    Perhaps if the red potato chip carried a written warning on it: 'obesity kills', 'haven't you had enough already?' or 'you've nearly munched through a whole tube -Feeling guilty yet?'
    That would work.

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