Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think

Front Cover
Bantam Books, 2007 - Health & Fitness - 292 pages
39 Reviews
In this illuminating and groundbreaking new book, food psychologist Brian Wansink shows why you may not realize how much you're eating, what you're eating–or why you're even eating at all.

• Does food with a brand name really taste better?
• Do you hate brussels sprouts because your mother did?
• Does the size of your plate determine how hungry you feel?
• How much would you eat if your soup bowl secretly refilled itself?
• What does your favorite comfort food really say about you?
• Why do you overeat so much at healthy restaurants?

Brian Wansink is a Stanford Ph.D. and the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. He's spent a lifetime studying what we don't notice: the hidden cues that determine how much and why people eat. Using ingenious, fun, and sometimes downright fiendishly clever experiments like the “bottomless soup bowl,” Wansink takes us on a fascinating tour of the secret dynamics behind our dietary habits. How does packaging influence how much we eat? Which movies make us eat faster? How does music or the color of the room influence how much we eat? How can we recognize the “hidden persuaders” used by restaurants and supermarkets to get us to mindlessly eat? What are the real reasons most diets are doomed to fail? And how can we use the “mindless margin” to lose–instead of gain–ten to twenty pounds in the coming year?

Mindless Eating will change the way you look at food, and it will give you the facts you need to easily make smarter, healthier, more mindful and enjoyable choices at the dinner table, in the supermarket, in restaurants, at the office–even at a vending machine–wherever you decide to satisfy your appetite.

From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibraryCin - LibraryThing

3.5 stars This book explains why so many of us eat mindlessly, without thinking about how much we are eating, resulting in weight gain. Portion sizes are a big one, including packaging and plate size ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - paulinewiles - LibraryThing

Easy to read, and full of surprising studies and insights, including our consistent inability to correctly estimate how much we really consume in a day. Personally, I would have loved more tips on ... Read full review

All 14 reviews »


The Science of Snacking
The Mindless Margin
The Forgotten Food
The Hidden Persuaders Around Us
Would You Walk a Mile for a Caramel?
Mindless Eating Scripts
The Name Game 18
Do Sweetbreads Taste Like Coffee Cake?
Nutritional Gatekeepers 62
FastFood Fever
Mindlessly Eating Better
Appendix B Defusing Your Diet Danger Zones

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About the author (2007)

Brian Wansink, Ph.D., is an Iowa native and earned his doctorate at Stanford University. He is the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and of Nutritional Science at Cornell University, where he is Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. The author of three profesional books on food and consumer behavior, he lives with his family in Ithaca, New York, where he enjoys both French food and French fries each week.

From the Hardcover edition.

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