A buffet laden with dish after dish – whether it’s at an all-you-can-eat restaurant or a party – is something most of us recognize as an occasion that easily pushes us to eat more than usual. Yet is it possible that variety in your day-to-day life also pushes you in directions that work against your goals of healthy eating?
In a now-classic experiment, food psychology research at Cornell University found that people given a bowl of M & M candies in 10 different colors ate more candy than people given the same number in only seven colors. It’s a good guess that everyone knew that all these M & Ms tasted exactly the same. Yet somehow, the perception of variety led to more eating.
If you’ve been looking for ways to cut back on less healthful foods or to reduce your overall calorie consumption, you can put the research on variety’s impact to work for your good health.