Monitor on Psychology - October 2011 - (Page 47)
Dr. Brian Wansink is working with school systems to encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer desserts.
In one study, he and his colleagues served participants dinner, accompanied by a glass of “two-buck Chuck” Trader Joe’s wine. They told half the participants that the wine was a new California label. The other half of the participants were told they were drinking North Dakota wine. Not only did the participants who thought they were drinking a California wine rate the wine as tasting better, they actually rated the food as tasting better as well, and the chef as having more training. It might seem depressing to learn that we are so out of tune with our own tastes, and that we can’t rely on our stomachs to know when we’re sated. But the good news is that once we understand our hard-wired eating behavior, we can change our environments in ways that make us eat better, Wansink said. For example, buying smaller plates and glasses. After he did the study that showed that bigger plates and glasses make people consume more, he said, “I’m pretty sure everyone in the lab went out and bought new ones.” Now, Wansink is aiming to bring his research to one of the front lines in the fight against obesity: school lunch rooms. Through a project he’s begun called the smarter lunchroom initiative (www.smarterlunchrooms.org), he’s working with
OCTOBER 2011 • MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY
school systems around the country to make simple tweaks that will encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer desserts. In one school cafeteria, for example, he found that food servers dumped fruits into an unattractive metal bin near the steam tables. He bought a cheap fruit basket and piled the fruit artistically inside, and brought in a desk lamp to light up the display. Fruit sales more than doubled. In another school cafeteria, he moved the salad bar from an isolated spot to a prime location next to the cash registers. Salad bar sales went up more than 200 percent. Such simple solutions could be an effective and cheap tool to change students’ eating habits, Wansink believes. Now, he and his colleagues are thinking big: They’ve recently received a $1 million federal grant to bring their ideas from the lab to the school system, and they’re hoping to have as many as 35,000 schools on board by 2015. n To watch a video of Wansink discussing his top tips for healthier eating, click here.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
Subtle and stunning slights
From the CEO
Live science on the showroom floor
Zimbardo re-examines his landmark study
Ready, set, mentor
Attention students and ECPs: Self-care is an ‘ethical imperative’
Suicide risk is high among war veterans in college, study finds
Psychotherapy is effective and here’s why
From toilet to tap: getting people to drink recycled water
What’s ahead for psychology practice?
A push for more accountability is changing the accreditation process
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity
Popular media’s message to girls
Bullying may contribute to lower test scores
A consequence of cuckoldry: More (and better) sex?
Manatees’ exquisite sense of touch may lead them into dangerous waters
Building a better tomato
How will China’s only children care for their aging parents?
‘Spice’ and ‘K2’: New drugs of abuse now on the market
Many suspects don’t understand their right to remain silent
Boosting minority achievement
Where’s the progress?
And social justice for all
Helping new Americans find their way
Segregation’s ongoing legacy
A new way to combat prejudice
Retraining the biased brain
Suppressing the ‘white bears’
How to eat better — mindlessly
Protect your aging brain
Must babies always breed marital discontent?
The danger of stimulants
Keys to making integrated care work
Is technology ruining our kids?
Facebook: Friend or foe?
The promise of Web 3.0
NIMH invests in IT enhanced interventions
PsycAdvocates work to safeguard key programs
The psychology of spending cuts
APA’s strategic plan goes live
Vote on bylaws amendments
Monitor on Psychology - October 2011