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Saturday, 4 December 2010

4th December 2010 - facebook email

The proverb warns that 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself. Thomas Szasz

How do you decide what and how much to it? What is your idea of a portion? Do you suffer from the deeply-ingrained mentality “we have to “clean” our larger-than-average plates”. Does your plate size decide your portion size? Does the restaurant or pub you eat in get to decide?

There are lots of subconscious factors responsible for our overeating habits. New research shows that there are additional visual cues, which affect our sense of hunger and likelihood to gorge. These subtle visual “tricks” used by restaurants and food manufacturers are leading us to buy (and eat) more and more without even realizing it. Have you fallen into these traps?

The Photo Says it All - Snack foods usually have a photo prominently on the front of the packaging. For example, a packet of biscuits might show a photo of five biscuits and a bag of sweets might show an image with fifteen sweets. A recent study found that the number of items shown in these product photos affects how we judge an appropriate serving size, how we evaluate the number of items in the entire package, and ultimately, how much we eat.

The study, published in October’s Journal of Consumer Psychology, showed that people given a package of cookies with more cookies shown on the front would assume there are more total cookies in the entire package and more in the appropriate serving size than those given the exact same package with fewer cookies shown in the photo. Since they assumed the serving size to be larger, the people given the package with a greater number of cookies shown ended up eating more.

Small, Medium, Large? - Another recent study in the similarly-named Journal of Consumer Research found that consumer behavior is greatly influenced by how manufacturers name their serving sizes, such as “small,” “medium,” and “large.”

In this study, testers were offered the exact same packages with different size labels. People offered a large item with a “small” label ate more than those given larger size labels. Additionally, it made these people feel less guilty about overindulging, an effect which the researchers call “guiltless gluttony.”

Hungry Colors - Finally, something as simple as the colors in a logo, product packaging, or on the walls of a restaurant can change the way we eat. Have you ever noticed that almost every fast-food franchise is decked out in bright reds and yellows? It should be no surprise that these colors attract our attention, make us excited, increase our heart rate, and stimulate hunger.

Interesting stuff, what are your thoughts…Do you agree we can be influenced by others, the best example I can think off is Maltesers, they have so many different sized packets it’s crazy, treat size, standard, big bag, fun size, pot, tube, box – are so many different versions necessary and can I add there’s nothing FUN about a fun size packet of Maltesers.

Apparently some people actually pay attention to serving sizes? I personally just eat as much as I feel like at that time and ProPoint it accordingly. What you could do is get rid of the packaging as soon as possible. Put biscuits in a barrel maybe, but remember to ProPoint them first.

Don’t let anything other than your stomach decide how much you should be eating, and in most cases we need to learn to recognise the signals our stomachs send us too, sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger, other times the hunger signals are coming from our heads not our belly’s, that’s emotional hunger that will never be totally satisfied with food.

Always remember you’re gorgeous whatever you weigh xx

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