Brian Wansink (born 1960, Sioux City, Iowa) is an American professor in the fields of consumer behavior and nutritional science. He is a former Executive Director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) (2007–2009).
Wansink is best known for his work on consumer behavior and food and for popularizing terms such as "mindless eating" and "health halos." His research has focused on how our immediate environment (supermarkets, packaging, homes, pantries, and tablescapes) influences eating habits and preferences. Wansink holds the John S. Dyson Endowed Chair in the Applied Economics and Management Department at Cornell University. He is the author of over 100 academic articles and books, including the best-selling book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think and Marketing Nutrition (2005) . He is a 2007 recipient of the humorous Ig Nobel Prize and was named ABC World News Person of the Week on January 4, 2008.
Having been referred to as the "Sherlock Holmes of Food" and the "Wizard of Why", Wansink and his Food and Brand Lab have been credited with improving the deeper scientific understanding of food eating and food shopping. A fundamental finding is that our environment—such as the way a food is labeled, presented, stored, or served—biases our eating habits and taste preferences. A large part of eating less and eating better, he argues, involves making small changes to our homes and to the daily "mindless" patterns of our lives. In underscoring this, the first and last sentence of his book, Mindless Eating states, "The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."