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Brian Wansink: Mindless Eating

Writers Voice aired this interview with Cornell food psychologist Brian Wansink in 2006 about his bestselling book, MINDLESS EATING: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Here’s what the author has to say on the book’s website:

What inspired you to write Mindless Eating?

Twenty years of my research can be summarized in saying “People’s tastes are not formed by accident.” I wanted to make sure people knew this, so they can make small changes which will lead them to eat less and enjoy it more.

What does it mean to mindlessly eat?

Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.

Our studies show that the average person makes around 250 decisions about food every day – breakfast or no breakfast? Pop-tart or bagel? Part of it or all of it? Kitchen or car? Yet out of these 200+ food decisions, most we cannot really explain. Mindless Eating shows what these decisions are and how to make them work for you rather than against you.

There’s a wealth of great tips on how to combat mindless eating on the Mindless Eating website, as well as cool videos of the author’s food psychology experiments.


About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.

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