I call shenanigans….
The most obese societies (and the classes of people in them) have the most boring and repetitive cuisines.
eg most obese people in the US live on nothing but burgers, fries and soft drinks. often from the same outlets even.
eg2 most obese people in the UK eat nothing but fish and chips, and the occasional curry and beer.
On the flipside: countries with varied and interesting cuisines (eg. France, Japan, etc) have a lower rate of obesity.
I think this is a classic example of science not seeing the forest for the trees. looking too closely and trying to prove something in a contrived, scaled down lab environment which tries to mimic the real world but fails miserably. sometimes the scale is what changes everything. It’s one thing to compare people’s reactions to a contrived, clincal choice of meals – it’s a whole other thing that actually happens on a large scale in real life.
Guzica | Melbourne – July 25, 2011, 11:19AM
Possibly a fair call, but if you get habituated to the narrow variety of calorie-dense foods you describe, you’re far less likely to branch out and try new, healthier things even when they become available. Witness how reluctant (and even hostile) some people are to changing their diet to include healthier items, like the dreaded lentil…
Grumphy – July 25, 2011, 11:54AM
They draw a very long bow with this one. Yes, eating the same food will make you bored – but if you’re bored, that means you’ll go looking for other, more interesting kinds of food. it doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight.
Interesting research, but the conclusion drawn is simply illogical and does not fit with the data.
Mackenzie – July 25, 2011, 11:57AM
i want to know what sort of "tasks" they had to perform?
I’m doing a program where i work and then get rewarded with food too (check out revefit.com)….. its called Exercise 🙂
Woopdedoo | Sydney – July 25, 2011, 11:47AM
I don’t really understand the conclusions they derived from this experiment…
Variety is actually one of the tricks women in Europe use to reduce their portion sizes overall. You feel much more satisfied eating very small portions of 5 or 6 different things in one meal than you would if you ate a healthy portion of only one thing. The calorie intake may be on par, but the person who ate the one thing is left feeling the need to eat more, whereas the person who has had a degustation feels more satisfied. it really works! Everytime I go to a fancy restaurant, I have a four course meal of super tiny but delicious food. At the end, I don’t feel full but I feel completely satisfied. on the other hand, if I go to a cafe and have a bowl of pasta, I feel full but I also feel like having something else. I’m not satisfied.
Maybe they should use that as an experiment.
Chloe | Melbourne – July 25, 2011, 12:22PM
I thought this was bollocks, but then thought of my own weight fluctuations over the years – covering a range of up to 40 kgs; and think there may be some credibility to it. The times I have fought off weight tend to be the periods where I had a very limited range of options and essentially removed choice. for example, always having the same thing for breakfast – it becomes a habit instead of thinking about all the yummy (ie. less healthy) options. it turns food into fuel, not a reward. And honestly, I forgot how good other things could taste. (Unfortunately I rediscovered the taste of alternatives and am now pretty darn fat!)
SS | Sydney – July 25, 2011, 1:08PM
Boredom with food usually leads to binges of more interesting food.
Neat | Brisbane – July 25, 2011, 1:16PM
How is this new, and why did they spend money on it? And why are all the commenters claiming the overall conclusion is bullocks?
Every idiot diet ever devised is based on limiting food choices. if you eat nothing but chocolate for a month, I guarantee you’ll lose weight, or pizza or cabbage soup – take your pick. also, the study does assume that the conclusion holds true for people wanting to lose weight, so would not be wantonly running off to eat other foods once they’re bored with the limited options of a diet.
Boredom with limited food options leads to less consumption, leads to weight loss – self evident, I would have thought.
C.Fairy | South Yarra – July 25, 2011, 1:49PM
This whole article is predicated on the false theory that weight loss and weight gain follows a calories in = calories out model.This is false. Weight loss and gain is primarily driven by insulin. Insulin is driven by carbohydrate. Low calorie diets only work because they restrict carbohydrates. High calorie diets only result in weight gain when they are almost always full of carbs.I follow a very high calorie diet and am losing plenty of weight (1.5 kg last week). 6 days a week very low carb (meat,eggs, veggies, nuts, red wine). 1 day a week very high carb (beer, cake, pizza, fruit).
MmmBeer – July 25, 2011, 1:50PM
People need variety or they will tire of what they are eating and return to eating whatever it is they like and this is where the majority of diets fail. They package together a whole bunch of bland and boring food which people despise eating and as a result fail.
Someone with a strong will/mind power will still succeed the issues with variety is people understanding the calorific impact of certain foods to ensure portion sizing is correct so not to take in excess calories. I eat a very controlled diet due to training but you can only eat something for lunch for so many weeks before you begin to hate it and then have to change things up a little. The basis for the meal ie chicken or a lean meat for protein is always constant but the fill around that will vary depending on personal preference at the time. The key is having 5-10 variations of essentially the same protein/calorific content meal to be able to change things up when your tastes buds cry enough.
Jonathan | Sydney – July 25, 2011, 2:00PM
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