Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Seven Secrets of Highly Obese People

The Washington Post ran an article about this, citing another article in the journal Obesity. Here's the list:

The Seven Secrets of Highly Obese People
By David Zinczenko
August 19, 2009; 7:00 AM ET

They use larger plates. When offered two plate sizes, 98.6 percent of those with the highest BMIs took the larger of the two plates to the buffet. A bigger plate tricks your eye into thinking you're not eating as much, and stuffing more food onto your plate -- and into your mouth. Use a smaller plate, get a smaller belly.

They eat while looking at food. 41.7 percent of those with high BMIs took seats that overlooked the buffet, instead of sitting in a booth or facing in a different direction. The site of food tends to make our minds think we have more work to do, eating-wise. Keep your food stored in the fridge or the pantry, not out on the countertops.

They eat with maximum efficiency. While Chinese buffets offer chopsticks, 91.3 percent of obese patrons opt for forks. That just makes it easier to shovel in the food!

They clean their plates. Of those patrons who were heaviest, 94 percent cleaned their plates so there was nothing left. Ignore Mom's advice -- let a little linger.

They chew faster. Researchers actually monitored the chewing habits of the buffet-goers and discovered that the heaviest 1/3 among them chewed their food an average of 11.9 times before swallowing. The middle 1/3 chewed an average of 14 times, and the leanest 1/3 chewed 14.8 times.

They dive in. The leanest people in the study typically took a lap around the buffet first, to plot out what they wanted to eat. But the more overweight group charged right in; doing so means you may fill up on some less-appealing items, then have to go back to snag that one nosh you have to have, but missed the first time.

Oh, and one more habit the overweight have that we've been reporting on for years:

They skip breakfast. Doing so raises your risk of obesity by a whopping 450 percent!

David Zinczenko is the editor-in-chief of Men's Health and the editorial director of Women's Health. The Eat This, Not That! book series has sold 3.5 million copies since December 2007.

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