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We Are More Likely To Eat What We See First: Study

See First Eat

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/29/11 02:01 AM ET Updated: 11/28/11 05:12 AM ET

What you see first is what you eat first, a new study suggests.

Cornell University researchers found that we are three times more likely to eat the first food item we see in our kitchen cupboards or refrigerators than the fifth one.

The research shows that "we end up being masters of our own demise, to some extent," study researcher Professor Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a nutritional sciences professor at Cornell and author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think," told HuffPost.

"It's not just where we place our food in the cupboards or in the refrigerator," Wansink said. "It's whether we have a cookie bowl sitting out instead of a fruit dish. It's all these factors, that we think we're too smart to be fooled by -- those end up being our demise."

Wansink and his colleagues took photographs of 100 kitchen cupboards, and also asked the owners of said kitchen cupboards to record what they ate. Researchers tried moving around the foods in the cupboards to see if that affected what the study participants ate -- and found that it did have an effect.

Other research shows that our environment could also play a part in what -- and how much -- we eat. A study conducted by University of Southern California researchers showed that regular popcorn-eaters who were given stale popcorn at a movie theater ate just as much of the popcorn as people given fresh popcorn. However, people who didn't usually eat popcorn at the movies ate less stale popcorn than fresh popcorn.

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