Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weight Gain Is Also Due to Overeating

We are moving less and eating more. Food is cheap, at our fingertips, and calorie-heavy. Restaurant meals typically have 800 to 1000 calories, not including desert or drinks. Three square meals a day has morphed into two or three feasts sandwiched between several meal-sized snacks. If we ate 100 fewer calories each day, instead of gaining 10 pounds at the end of year, maybe we would lose 10 pounds. Small factors that we are not even aware of add 100, 200, 300 calories. Many of us are reasonably diligent about what we eat but we do not put that much thought into how much we eat. People may decide to eat Chinese food instead of pizza or fruit instead of potato chips because they are healthier. But once they make the initial choice, they tend to not monitor how much they eat. And a pound of grapes is not calorie free. However, Weight Gain Is Also Due to Overeating is true.

Do larger portions make us eat more?

Yes. We went to movie theatres in Chicago and randomly gave people either medium or large buckets of popcorn. We found out that people who were given big buckets ate roughly 50 per cent more than they ate roughly the people who were given smaller buckets. But if you asked them to estimate how many grams or calories they had eaten, there was no difference between what the two groups reported. The people who got the larger buckets ate 31 percent more than the people who got the medium buckets did. And, again, both groups thought they had eaten the same amount of popcorn.

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