Lifestyle Assessment: Mindless Eating

Today’s post is another excerpt from “Best Weight: A Practical Guide to Office-Based Weight Management“, recently published by the Canadian Obesity Network.

This guide is meant for health professionals dealing with obese clients and is NOT a self-management tool or weight-loss program. However, I assume that even general readers may find some of this material of interest.

Mindless Eating

Brian Wansink coined the term “mindless eating” to describe hidden cues that trigger eating behaviours, such as family, friends, packaging, plate size, names and numbers, labels, colours, shapes, smells, distractions, distances, cupboards, and containers. It is possible that response to these cues also has roots in evolutionary biology.

One cue in particular may play a significant role in your patients’ difficulties with weight management: social eating. Put simply, the more people we eat with, the more we tend to eat. This may result from being encouraged by others to eat, or eating to fit in, but sometimes, as Dr. Wansink suggests, it is completely mindless. Consider how this might influence your patient’s weight if he or she has a wine-and-dine sales job, multiple work meetings or a circle of friends or family who centre all of their social interactions on food.

© Copyright 2010 by Dr. Arya M. Sharma and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. All rights reserved.

The opinions in this book are those of the authors and do not represent those of the Canadian Obesity Network.

Members of the Canadian Obesity Network can download Best Weight for free.

Best Weight is also available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles (part of the proceeds from all sales go to support the Canadian Obesity Network)

If you have already read Best Weight, please take a few minutes to leave a review on the Amazon or Barnes & Nobles website.