The one other entry in the Best Food Books of 2006 is Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, PhD.
I have a ton of notes in my book report journal on this, where I referred to the book as an insightful, fun, action item packed sudy on why and how we eat and what unknowingly influences us. Of all the books I read last year, I found this was the most interesting for cocktail party fodder – sort of like The Tipping Point or Blink in years past. Instead of typing up my notes though, I just discovered the author’s blog, and there’s a great summary post via an AP article on the book. Now, convoluted as this is, here’s an excerpt of an article about the book posted on the book’s blog (it’s like Six Degrees of Mindless Eating):
- Avoid having too many foods on the table. The more variety, the more
people will eat. People ate 85 percent more M&Ms when they were
offered in nine colors rather than seven.
- Use small bowls. A study found that people serving themselves from smaller bowls ate 59 percent less.
- See it before you eat it. Dishing out Chex Mix led one group to consume
134 fewer calories than others who ate straight from the bag.
- Sit next to the slowest eater at the table and use that person to pace
yourself. Always be the last one to start eating, and set your fork
down after every bite.
There are many other tips in that post, and even more in the book. The studies behind the tips are fascinating, and a great read that can quickly make a difference in how we eat. The book is framed more as sociology than self-help, but it also might be the best dieting book you’ll ever read.