Factors That Cause Overeating And Weight Gain
- Sights, Sounds, and Smells. Overeating can be triggered by the alluring smell of bacon cooking, the sound of popcorn popping, advertisements for junk food, and so on. You are influenced by your surroundings, and studies show these kinds of cues result in eating more food.
- Distracted Eating. “Eating amnesia” is the act of almost unconsciously putting food in your mouth, usually from a big bag or bowl while sitting in front of the television, reading a book, checking e-mails, or during happy hour. Multi-tasking can lead to overeating because you’re not paying attention to what you are eating. When you eat more mindfully, you really taste the food — and are more likely to feel satisfied sooner.
- Food Everywhere. There are constant opportunities for us to eat during the day at drive-through restaurants, vending machines, even gas stations. When food is in front of us, we tend to eat more of it. For example, when candy was accessible on workers’ desks, they ate an average of nine pieces a day. When candy was kept in their desk drawers, they ate about six pieces per day. If they had to get up from their desks to reach the candy six feet away, they only ate four pieces.
- Food that’s Fast, Convenient, and Inexpensive. Fast-food restaurants on every corner offering inexpensive food also encourage us to eat more and more often. Combo meal deals sound like a bargain, but they are loaded with fat, sodium, and calories. Typically, the longer it takes to prepare your food… the better it is for you!
Cornell University researcher Brian Wansink, PhD