Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Buffet secrets

Now here's something interesting we may have known all along -- the more variety of food present, the more we tend to eat. This is the findings of a new study appearing in the journal of consumer research. Barbara E. Kahn, Phd, with the University of Pennsylvania wrote that variety play a big role in the amount of food we eat. In 2 experiments: the jellybean experiment and m&m experiment, people tend to eat more from bowls with different-flavored jellybeans or m&m's. The conclusion: "people eat with their eyes, and their eyes trick their stomachs, co-researcher Brian Wansink, Phd, with the University of Illinois, writes.

We have the Filipino word for it "takaw-mata", so this finding just corroborate what we have known all along. The Filipino penchant for serving a variety of viands can explain why a lot of Pinoys are overweight. Depending on which region of the Philippines you go to, there's an abundance of fat-laden food out there. We don't have the statistics down pat like those in the western countries, but overweight can be a big problem here and we may not know it. With the influx of Western-style portions and upsize-schemes, it's pretty easy to let the pounds creep in.

It's frustrating to see friends and acquaintances try to manage their weight and more importantly, their health, with quick-fix schemes. The more I studied lifestyle management, the more I understand the idea of "lifestyle change" instead of "diet." The word "diet" is such a four-letter monster in my book. It brings to mind deprivation and craving. So many people are riding on this low-carb wave (south beach diet) and hi-protein craze (new Atkins), but 3,6 or 12 months from now, they'll be back to their old eating patterns and worse, heftier weight.

The morals of the story: "everything in moderation" • "starvation and deprivation are complications, not solutions" • lifestyle change is the key, not dieting, for lifelong health

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