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Zen and the art of eating

February 27, 2007|by ERICA COLLIFLOWER

Review

Would you ever believe that strawberry yogurt could remotely taste like chocolate yogurt? Author Brian Wansink says it can. Well, provided you are eating it in the dark and are expecting it to taste like a scrumptious chocolate yogurt.

Wansink conducted an experiment just like that - eating yogurt in the dark - and writes about it in his new book, "Mindless Eating." This book explores the influence of outside factors on our eating habits. Factors such as location, plate and cup size influence whether we want to eat more or less.

But are these really important factors? Wansink says that they are. In his book, he tells of several real-life experiments that he and his team of experts conducted to find out what factors influence people to want to eat more. He concludes that people will consume more than usual due to factors such as whether they have a bigger plate, are in the company of good friends or are just feeling bored.

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This book is not a typical diet book. In fact, I wouldn't even label it a diet book. It would be more correctly likened to a book of observations and analysis. Wansink's book presents factors that influence our eating habits and offers easily applicable suggestions on how to improve.

Humorously written, "Mindless Eating" offers a unique approach to encourage us to consume healthier foods.

In his book, Wansink points out a path to healthful eating. His approach emphasizes strategies designed not to take away our yummy junk food but to simply notice and minimize our mindless eating.

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