The Econ­o­mist’s Weight-Loss Strat­egy


Special Focus - - Contents - Cen Rong 岑嵘

As­tudy on peo­ple’s waist­lines i n the U. S. found that our food in­take has in­creased since the 1970s, while the en­ergy we con­sume ev­ery day main­tained at a steady level. Daily calo­rie in­take in­creases by 300 kilo­joules ev­ery decade. Obe­sity has now be­come a ma­jor prob­lem that trou­bles peo­ple’s lives.

Economists found that big­ger plates, bowls, and even pantries in­crease our food in­take.

In a test, re­searchers put pop­corn, which had been stored for 14 days in buck­ets of var­i­ous sizes and then gave them to the au­di­ence at a cin­ema. It was found that the au­di­ence who took the big­ger bucket ate 38% more ex­pired pop­corn than other peo­ple. It tells us that peo­ple de­cide to stop eat­ing ac­cord­ing to ex­ter­nal in­for­ma­tion ( i. e. my plate is empty) rather than in­ter­nal in­for­ma­tion ( I am full).

In an­other test, sci­en­tists ran­domly gave 10 weight­loss strate­gies to par­tic­i­pants and found two strate­gies most ef­fec­tive: par­tic­i­pants who used smaller plates ( dia< 25cm) to eat lost an av­er­age of 0.9kg within one month; ex­per­i­menters who were not al­lowed to watch TV while eat­ing lost 0.7kg on av­er­age in one month.

Brian Wansink, di­rec­tor of the Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity Food and Brand Lab, found that peo­ple con­sumed 28%~ 55% more food while they watch sad movies; peo­ple eat less with softer light­ing and soft jazz bal­lads play­ing; lower con­trast be­tween the color of the plate and color of the food makes peo­ple con­sume

22%~32% more food.

Apart from ap­petite con­trol, keep­ing fit is an­other key to los­ing weight. Some economists tried to help peo­ple to keep

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