Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think – A Book Review
Some would say we live to eat rather than eat to live. In Brian Wansink’s book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, he delves into the subliminal messages we receive on a daily basis that prods our conscious mind to consume food solely influenced by media hype, packaging, and gentle persuasion.
Here is a little excerpt about the author Brian Wansink:
“Brian Wansink is a Stanford Ph.D. and the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. He has spent a lifetime studying what we don’t notice: the hidden cues that determine how much and why people eat.
How does packaging influence how much we eat? Which movies make us eat faster? How does music or the color of the room influence how much we eat? How can we recognize the “hidden persuaders” used by restaurants and supermarkets to get us to mindlessly eat? What are the real reasons most diets are doomed to fail? And how can we use the “mindless margin” to lose–instead of gain–ten to twenty pounds in the coming year?”
Thus, no matter what your culture, food is visually enticing. In essence, we eat with our eyes.
In making the reader aware of why we eat and how much we eat, Brian Wansink has offered clear insights into the reasons behind such behavior. The book focuses on multiple studies showing people who overeat because of their perceptions such as: the food is endless, or the food is expensive, or the food is healthier than other food choices.
This book also illustrates how various aspects of the environment influence eating behaviors while, at the same time, not allowing us to dismiss the fact that we are ultimately responsible for what and how much we eat.
Brian Wansink gives the reader ideas for making the environment work for, rather than against, weight loss goals. Moreover, he does it all with a sense of humor, which makes the book very entertaining.
This unique look into the mind is an important step in helping people not only understand the reasons why they eat, but may actually help them control their eating habits and lose weight.
Consider this analogy: Smokers, when talking on the telephone or drinking a cup of coffee, almost always light up. For some, they do not actually realize they are doing it; it is a habit they play out day after day. The same can be said about our eating habits as well. We grab a bag of chips when watching a football game, not because we are hungry but because it satisfies a need.
Another fantastic thing about the book is that it points out how fast food companies and prepackaged food manufacturers deliberately add extra ingredients to their products to trick our taste buds (and our brains) into eating more. We can’t TASTE the extra ingredients (this is one reason why MSG is in *everything* nowadays) but our brain senses them, and they cause us to eat more.
This fascinating book delves into the whys and wherefores of eating. Check it out and you too may discover that eating has nothing to do with hunger.
Mindless Eating is available on Amazon.com