Living on Earth’s Cynthia Graber reports that eating a variety of foods at one meal may lead to overeating.
GRABER: Variety may not be the spice of life - when it comes to overeating. In a recent study, scientists found that piling different foods on your plate actually encourages you to eat more. Here's how they found out. Researchers gave one group of people a four course meal of sausage, bread and butter, chocolate, and bananas. Another group was given only one of the courses. Turns out that the group that ate four different courses ate 44% more food than the other group. A separate experiment, conducted with a buffet of food, came up with similar results.
Researchers say that variety keeps people from getting tired of how food tastes and keeps them from getting that full feeling. Looked at from an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense. Different foods provide different nutrients, and we tend to keep on tasking foods and adding to the nutritional content of our diet.
Eating a variety of foods is still important today, to get that nutritional diversity. But if you're concerned about eating more than you need, it's probably better to vary meal by meal instead of feasting at the local smorgasbord.
That's this week's Health Note, I'm Cynthia Graber.
TOOMEY: And you're listening to Living on Earth.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.