(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- When it comes to eating, your eyes are truly bigger than your stomach, according to new study from Cornell University.
Brian Wansink, a food psychologist at the university, told WebMD that many people are victims of what he calls "mindless eating," or subconscious eating habits that can cause weight gain. These habits include eating off large plates which, the study finds, results in more food consumption.
For instance, in one test the researchers conducted of 168 moviegoers, they found that the participants ate 34 to 45 percent more popcorn if it was served in a larger bucket as opposed to a regular container, regardless of whether the popcorn was fresh or stale.
Another test, WebMD reports, found that people poured 37 percent more liquid into shorter and wider glasses compared to their taller and skinnier counterparts.
These associations between consumption and the size of dinnerware were also evident in a survey that compared the eating habits of the French and Americans.
Wansink told WebMD, "We asked 150 Parisians how they knew they were through with dinner and they said, 'When we're full.' When we asked 150 Chicagoans the same question, they said, 'When the plate is empty.'"
One way to stave off mindless eating, Wansink suggests, is to eat off smaller plates.
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