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We eat when we’re hungry, right?

Sure. We also eat when we’re thirsty. Or bored. Or happy. Or sad. Or lonely. Or socializing. Pretty much any time there is food around. Brian Wansink, of Cornell University, examines how people select and consume food, and has made truly interesting discoveries, particularly when it comes to portions. A remarkable number of our food choices are barely choices at all — they are reactions to what is right in front of us at the time.

Wansink has written a wonderful book, Mindless Eating, discussing how his discoveries can help you make better choices about what — and how — you eat. His lab at Cornell regularly publishes articles about their research and even offers resources for educators about food and food choices. Take a look and see how the size of a dish, the order the foods appear in at a buffet, and even the shape of a glass can influence how many calories you consume!

Wonderful cartoon from The Awkward Yeti

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