People more likely to eat what they see first in kitchen: study
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Are you struggling to control your weight? Then, don't just blame the food you eat, blame your kitchen arrangements too, scientists say.
A study by researchers at the Cornell University in New York found that people are three times more likely to eat the first edible item they see at home.
So if a healthy salad is first in the line of vision, we are much more likely to have it for dinner than the required ingredients if they are stored at the back of the fridge behind a pile of fattening ready-meals, the researchers said.
Thus, where our food is stored has a huge effect on how much we consume, said study researcher Prof Brian Wansink.
For their research, Prof Wansink and his team took pictures of more than 100 kitchen cupboards and asked their owners to keep diaries of what they ate.
They then took another 100 participants and moved around the contents of their cupboards in different ways, examining the effects on what they said they ate.
"We found a really strong tendency towards the food which is visible. If you put your least healthy food at the front of the cupboard or refrigerator, that's the one you are most likely to eat," said Prof Wansink.
"You are much less likely to eat the fifth or tenth item you see when you come home tired from work," he said.
The finding means everything in our kitchens has an impact on "visibility", he added.
"Cupboards where you cannot see food all the time are better than open shelving, especially for snack foods which don't require preparation," he said.
"Having a smaller refrigerator and fewer cupboards, and putting the unhealthy foods at the back or out of reach, seems the best way to avoid temptation."
Prof Wansink has previously found that changing from a 12-inch to a ten-inch plate makes you eat 22 per cent less, and that the average person will eat 92 per cent of what is on the plate, regardless of the serving size.