|Portion Control: A Behavioral Psychologist’s Perspective|
We know we should eat reasonably-sized portions — so why don’t we?
Matt Wallaert, a scientist and behavioral psychologist who studies why we make the food choices we do, shared some valuable tidbits recently when he was interviewed by NPR’s Renee Montagne. New York City’s plan to ban large sodas prompted the interview, but a few of Mr. Wallaert’s comments are more broadly relevant given our heightened attention to managing the volume of our food intake.
I encourage you to listen to the original interview, but if you’re short on time, these are the nuggets that magnified themselves when I first read the transcript:
The food scarcity that affected our ancestors influences our behaviors today. Back in the day, it was difficult to find, harvest, and prepare food, so our ancestors learned to eat as much as they could when they had the opportunity, not knowing when their next meal would present itself. Apparently, we haven’t evolved much in our approach to eating: We are genetically programmed to bring in as many calories as we can when those calories are available — whether we need them or not.
Source: GO MEDIA: Writen by Mary Gerush - Image credit: iMaffo via flickr/CC license