JAN 01, 2016 12:58 PM PST

Let Hunger Be Your Guide

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet
The inaugural issue of the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research includes this information.


Potato chips, bacon, milk chocolate - all are examples convenient foods engineered for maximum tastiness. Widespread advertisements incessantly bombard consumers with the temptation to eat. People often eat when they're not hungry because tasty food is available all the time.

New research found that eating when not hungry leads to a higher rise in glucose levels than eating when hungry. The study was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. 
Blood glucose levels tend to rise after a person consumes a meal with carbohydrates. However, an elevated blood glucose level is damaging to the body’s cells. So, in general, it’s healthier if the blood glucose levels rise by a relatively small amount. 

Cornell University scientists wanted to measure how a specific meal would impact a person’s health. The researchers, led by marketing professor David Gal, recruited 45 undergraduate students. They asked them to rate their level of hunger and then had the participants eat a meal rich in carbohydrates. After the meal, the researchers measured the participants’ blood glucose levels at regular intervals. 

The moderately hungry individuals had lower blood glucose levels after eating the meal than the individuals who were not particularly hungry. 
 

The data suggests that it’s healthier for individuals to eat when they are moderately hungry than when they are not hungry. We pretty much knew that already. Yet, so many people struggle with eating when they don’t need to. 

Previous research has established tips to help non-hungry people avoid eating. For instance, Cornell Food & Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink found that you eat what you see. If you see soda when you open the fridge, you are more likely to drink more of it than if the soda was placed behind another food. If you see Hershey Kisses in a clear dish, you are more likely to eat more of them than if the Kisses were placed in an opaque dish.

You are more likely to eat foods that are more convenient for you. So prepare your vegetables before putting them away, and beware of resealable snack packages.

There’s a mountain of more research showing ways to avoid eating food. For many people, it’s just a matter of implementing it.

Sources: Press release via Cornell Food & Brand Lab and EurekAlert!, New York Times, American Heart Association
 
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
MAR 18, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Gene Therapy Benefits Can Last Decades
MAR 18, 2021
Gene Therapy Benefits Can Last Decades
Genetic diseases arise from inborn errors in gene sequences, and researchers have long sought ways to correct those erro ...
MAR 18, 2021
Microbiology
How a Chronic Hepatitis B Infection Happens
MAR 18, 2021
How a Chronic Hepatitis B Infection Happens
Hepatitis B can cause a long-term and sometimes fatal disease. Princeton University researchers have learned more about ...
MAR 21, 2021
Microbiology
Potent Drug Rapidly Clears Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea in Mouse Model
MAR 21, 2021
Potent Drug Rapidly Clears Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea in Mouse Model
A mouse model has shown that it's possible to clear a multi-drug resistant gonorrhea with only one dose of antibioti ...
MAR 23, 2021
Microbiology
Pregnant Moms Easily Pass On COVID-19 Antibodies Through Placenta
MAR 23, 2021
Pregnant Moms Easily Pass On COVID-19 Antibodies Through Placenta
Recent work has shown that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies that are carried by a pregnant woman can cross the placenta and reach t ...
MAR 26, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
New 'Bio-ink' Gets 3D-Printed Organs Closer to Reality
MAR 26, 2021
New 'Bio-ink' Gets 3D-Printed Organs Closer to Reality
For the many people waiting for transplants, 3D-printed organs can't come soon enough. Researchers have been making stri ...
APR 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Can Smoking Cannabis Cause Lung Cancer?
APR 05, 2021
Can Smoking Cannabis Cause Lung Cancer?
So far, there is no firm consensus on whether smoking cannabis can cause lung cancer. As cannabis smoke contains many si ...
Loading Comments...