October 30, 2013

More from the Google Alert Hinterlands

If you've been following my road-to-publication updates the past few months, you'll know that the Google Alerts I've got set up to track my book ("Andrew Ladd" and "What Ends") generally provide very little useful information at all.

For instance, Andrew Ladd was the only person to score in a penalty shootout against Dallas the other night.

Yesterday, however, I got a link to this mildly interesting article from Salon, reporting on a study from PLOS One, which explained that "WHAT ENDS up on a diner's plate is determined by the presentation order of food"—a story that, back in my fevered, blog-filled youth, I may well have chosen to write about of my own volition. e.g.:
While [the] tendency to grab what’s in front of you is obviously problematic, newly published research finds one environment where it can come in very handy: The buffet line.
Also: the driver's seat of a car.

Also, ahem (cf. Andrew Ladd): the mouth of a hockey goal.
Cornell University researchers Brian Wansink and Andrew Hanks... describe a study featuring 124 human resource managers attending a conference on behavior change and health. Unwittingly, they found themselves part of an experiment one morning.
Ah-ha! So the testers have become the... testes?
The conference-goers began their day by being randomly assigned to one of two breakfast buffet lines. The food served at the two locations was identical, but the order of the dishes was reversed....

“Over 75 percent of diners selected the first food they saw,” Wansink and Hanks write...

The researchers caution that they did not measure portion size or actual consumption. It’s possible that the people who chose the unhealthy foods had second thoughts once they sat down, and decided to eat only a small portion of what they took.

Possible, but unlikely.
...added the study's third author, David Caruso.
The takeaway from the experiment is clear: Encouraging healthy eating may be as simple as offering nutrient-rich, low-calorie items as a first choice...

Better yet, it sidesteps issues of the “nanny state” telling us what to eat.
Oh, THANK GOD. If the nanny state started limiting my access to unhealthy food, that would really take the biscuit/get me steaming mad/cheese me off/SPLABANGO.

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