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Showing posts from October, 2014

Sugar, the brain and self control

Brian Wansink of the University of Cornell, in his excellent book “Mindless Eating – Why we eat more than we think[1]” describes many experiments from his laboratory where food intake is found to be quite often “mindless”, that is, the consumption of food occurs without any real thought as to the reasons for either starting or stopping eating.Here is a simple example. Bright MBA students are offered a chance to watch the Super Bowl in a bar where soft drinks are free and where the students can go and collect as many chicken wings as they like as often as they like and enjoy the game with their friends. The bones get chucked into a bowl on the table. They are absorbed in the game and so they don’t notice that for half the tables, the bowls of chicken bones are emptied regularly throughout the evening. For the other half, the bowls fill up with chicken bones. Those in the latter group whose bowls were not refreshed ate just under 30% less chicken wings than those who had their bowls ref…