Distracted Diners, Smaller Packaging - Studies on Why We Overeat

Two new studies tackle why, in part, many of us overeat.

The first looks at the effects of "distracted diners" on consumption, monitoring what happens to BMI, food consumption, action, behavior and communication when families are subjected to sounds of a vacuum cleaner.  Bottom line:  parents ate more in the distracted group and at the same time, communicated less.  This no doubt affects how families relate to one another and could potentially decrease our hunger cues that tell us when to stop eating.

The second - published in the British Medical Journal - looks at what packaging size does to our consumption, and tells us that smaller packages might not keep us from overeating after all.  The authors and a consumer group note that even though small packaging sizes are available, we still continue to overeat.  Researchers think that perhaps eliminating larger sizes altogether might be a more effective solution.

Of course no one thing will make us shed unwanted pounds but perhaps mandated smaller portions and a quiet environment can help.