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How to trick your brain into a healthier holiday-grub season

How can you trick your brain into eating healthier this holiday season?
How can you trick your brain into eating healthier this holiday season?
Hotel Beurivage/Flickr

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In the latest research from Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab, we learn how buffets can be healthy (veggies first, fried chicken last), clear wine glasses lead to heavier pours of Pinot Grigio, and extroverted kids’ food servings are more influenced by environmental cues.

While much of the world struggles with food scarcity, most Americans struggle with too much food, too many options, too many calories. Brian Wansink, renowned eating-behavior expert, studies how our daily rituals and patterns either sabotage or bolster healthful diet habits. Another recent Cornell study focused on family dining habits.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it found that families who eat with the TV on, had higher BMIs (body mass index). It said dinner tables that included meaningful conversations about each person’s day was associated with lower BMIs in the adults.

Do you need tips to avoid tipping the scale this Thanksgiving? Will you rearrange your party buffets with green beans up front, meatballs way back? How do you avoid diet sabotage?


Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Eating-behavior expert; Professor of Marketing, Cornell University; Director, Cornell Food and Brand Lab