Scientific experiments found that people make almost 20 times more daily decisions about food than they think, approximately 250 decisions per day. Because of this, we are affected by tiny cues such as family, friends, and packages.
"Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," a book written by Cornell University Professor Brian Wansink, maintains that food psychology and environment greatly affect when and how much we eat.
"Mindless Eating" revealed that a considerable part of hunger is psychologically driven. The book also said that we do not know when we are full and when we are hungry as we are not calibrated enough.
Wansink also said that our eyes determine how much we eat. Two random volunteer groups were selected, an endless bowl group and the normal bowl group. The endless bowl group ate out of a bowl that automatically refilled from the bottom while the normal bowl group ate from a bowl that did not refill itself. The endless bowl group did not know that their bowls were being refilled.
Those in the endless bowl group ate 73 percent more food than those in the normal bowl group, suggesting that our eyes determine when we think that we are full.
Wansink said that mindless eating can cause weight gain but, on the bright side, can be used to build healthier habits. He recommends smaller plates and bowls and keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight.
Wansink's findings were presented at the Annual convention of the American Psychological Association, where he released the following statement: "Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, and then ask ourselves if we're full. The secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you."