Scientists have found that if you’re offered a variety of different foods, you’ll eat more. Researcher Brian Wansink found that people offered M&Ms or jelly beans will eat more if they’re offered many different colors, even if they all taste the same. People who were offered 10 colors of M&Ms ate 43% more than people offered seven colors. Another of his inventions is the refillable soup bowl. He found that with this bowl, women ate 30% more soup and men ate 40% more. When he gave people different sized buckets of stale popcorn, the people with the largest buckets ate 31% more even though he says it “tasted terrible.”
It’s called the “salad bar effect.” When people are served monotonous meals, they eat until they’re full, but when they’re given lots of variety, they eat more. “Nutritionists have been wrong. We’ve been telling you for years variety is important, but it’s that variety that really helps to make you fat,” says Judith S. Stern of the American Obesity Association.
Nutritionist Megan McCrory says, “In restaurants when you’re really stuffed to the brim and you just can’t have another bite, then the waiter brings around the dessert cart?There’s always room for dessert.”
This may be why they’re so many choices at fast food restaurants. Coca-Cola sells 400 different drinks, Frito-Lay sells 150 different chips and pretzels and Campbell’s makes 170 soups. The typical American grocery store has 35,000 products, up from 10,000 in 1983.
Nutritionist Barbara Rolls says, “As omnivores with a variety of nutrient requirements, we need to switch from food to food and take in a lot of different nutrients. This is actually an adaptive response.”
An example of the problem can be seen in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, where people used to eat what they produced. Then they started importing food and they now have the highest obesity rate in the world.
Dr. Terry Maratos-Flier says, “You can’t get rid of variety. People want 100 channels. They wants thousands of CDs and books. There’s no policy that’s going to get rid of variety in foods.”
Carnie Wilson went from 350 to 125 pounds and found her soul in the process. She had to conquer all of her fears and insecurities, including issues with her father, Beach Boy Brian Wilson?which made her gain the weight in the first place. You’ll be inspired by her journey!
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