Eggrolls, tummy bulge, and the food revolution

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Eggrolls and tummy bulge. Those were the concerns of Cornell University researches in a study released last year in the journal Obesity, but the research–and the discussion about it–may have fallen short.

The study tracked the habits of people with various body mass indexes (BMIs) at a Chinese buffet, and found several differences in the actions of people with high and low BMIs. All good and helpful, I say.

Then this week, David Zinczenko, co-author of the hit Eat This, Not That! book series, turned the findings into a guide to the habits of people who qualified as obese versus their daintier lo mein-slurping counterparts. The top two Zinczenko singles out:

  • They use larger plates. When offered two plate sizes, 98.6 percent of those with the highest BMIs took the larger of the two plates to the buffet. A bigger plate tricks your eye into thinking you’re not eating as much, and stuffing more food onto your plate — and into your mouth. Use a smaller plate, get a smaller belly.
  • They eat while looking at food. 41.7 percent of those with high BMIs took seats that overlooked the buffet, instead of sitting in a booth or facing in a different direction. The site of food tends to make our minds think we have more work to do, eating-wise. Keep your food stored in the fridge or the pantry, not out on the countertops. Continue reading