Opinion: How to eat less

POSTED: 06/16/14 10:59 PM

The world is full of fat people (no offense) and it is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Not only for the fat people themselves (how is it possible to be comfortable if you are heavily overweight or obese?) but also for the society. Productivity goes down, absenteeism goes through the roof, healthcare costs go up and the taxpayer is left to carry the can. There are many reasons to tackle the overweight and obesity issue, but nothing will work if the target group is unwilling to participate.

The Volkskrant reports a study that shows that the way food is presented has a significant impact on the amount people eat. We do not know who did the study – the story does not report that – and the first example the article mentions has in our opinion a high duh-content.

The example is a transparent pot of candy sitting on someone’s desk. If you have to look at those sweets all day long, chances are that the pot will be empty by the end of the day. Suggestion in the Volkskrant: put your candy in a pot that is not transparent. The idea is that what you do not see will not tempt you. Our suggestion: do not put a pot of candy on your desk. The idea is that that you cannot eat what is not in front of you.

Visibility is not the only trigger that tempts our brain, according to the study. Size and color of the plate you use for eating also play a role. Ever wondered why restaurants use such humongous plates? There you go.

The study indicates that people eat 22 percent more if a meal is served on a large plate. People who eat from a white plate eat 20 percent more than those who eat from a red plate.

Anyway, the suggestions are in: buy small red plates and stop parking barrels of candy on your desk.

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