Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Resolved To Lose Weight? Social Cues Encourage Overeating: University Of Toronto Study

Date:
December 31, 2005
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Socially informed perceptions of which foods are appropriate to eat, when they should be eaten and how much should be consumed have a greater impact on our food intake than feelings of hunger or fullness, says a University of Toronto review paper published in Physiology & Behavior.

Socially informed perceptions of which foods are appropriate to eat, when they should be eaten and how much should be consumed have a greater impact on our food intake than feelings of hunger or fullness, says a University of Toronto review paper published in Physiology & Behavior.

Related Articles


U of T psychology professors Peter Herman and Janet Polivy examined more than 30 years of research to survey the principles governing overeating and obesity. They found that while medical approaches continue to emphasize hunger and satiety as the root of the obesity epidemic, these two factors are usually not the most significant causes of overeating.

Instead, people allow environmental cues to dominate their eating choices, rather than adhering to selections that would satisfy their physical or nutritional needs. Portion size, palatability, variety and the food intake of fellow eaters are all potent influences on individual consumption. Norms may also become elevated depending on the social context in which they function, such as the case of the individual who, wishing to avoid appearing overindulgent, may refuse second helpings at a formal meal but accept them when eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet or among family and close friends.

“It’s an insidious effect,” Herman says. “People are often rudderless in eating situations and they look to the activity of others, their own previous behaviour or other social cues to guide them and thereby consume more than they need. Frequently, eating occurs within what we have termed a zone of biological indifference, in which the individual is neither genuinely hungry nor genuinely sated. Without any particular biological reason to start, continue or stop eating, we are particularly vulnerable to socially based influences.”

“Norms of appropriateness have yet to achieve mainstream status in current medical research into obesity and overeating and in public policy concerned with curbing the obesity epidemic,” Polivy says. “No one seems to be aware of the power that social influence has on eating, but if such considerations are integrated more deeply into this area, we may see some more practical results.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Resolved To Lose Weight? Social Cues Encourage Overeating: University Of Toronto Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051231180459.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2005, December 31). Resolved To Lose Weight? Social Cues Encourage Overeating: University Of Toronto Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051231180459.htm
University of Toronto. "Resolved To Lose Weight? Social Cues Encourage Overeating: University Of Toronto Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051231180459.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins