Ryan's Reviews > Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think

Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
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's review
Feb 26, 2011

liked it
Read from March 01 to 07, 2011

Gladwell presents a few studies that deal with how we buy or taste things - the soda taste test, how packaging influences purchases, etc - so this seemed like an interesting follow-up. And it is. Wansink's material is equally interesting to read. A number of 'duh' moments, quite a few 'really?' moments, and some interesting clarification on the idea of serving size. My daughter often says she has NO clue who makes up the servings listed on packages - obviously, these are not real people, she'll say. No one eats just ONE girl scout cookie once the package is open - clearly, a serving size is a sleeve of thin mints.

While interesting, in terms of the material presented, I think it was a diet book. I'm not complaining - it was just unexpected. At the end of each section are practical applications of the information presented. Crazy ideas like portioning large packages into smaller ones, and other "moderation" suggestions. I actually liked his approach - it is probably the most realistic, sustainable one out there. He touches on some current events, like the obesity issue, and presents some quietly revolutionary ideas. There are probably financial benefits to this moderate approach as well. Unfortunately, they aren't very "sexy" - we are told that losing 30 pounds in a year isn't good enough. We must lose that in 30 days.

These would be ideas to introduce in middle school - make kids aware. Once they see these things, they won't be able to stop seeing them (ignoring, but they will know its there), and they might make more moderate choices.

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