So many food choices may add to obesity

Aug. 3, 2011 at 12:53 AM
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SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The average U.S. supermarket has more than 50,000 products and this abundance of choice may contribute to excess eating and obesity, a U.S. food expert says.

Phil Lempert -- a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of the Web site -- says in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers at the University of Florida suggest this food diversity may promote excess consumption and increased weight.

The article is in response to a study from the University at Buffalo after researchers found both obese and non-obese women who were given macaroni and cheese daily for five days reduced their intake, compared to those who were given macaroni and cheese once a week for five weeks.

The authors concluded people lose interest in their food when repeatedly exposed to the same item -- a behavior known as habituation, Lempert explains.

Another study found that changing the number of colors in a bowl of M&Ms from seven to 10 different colors, increased consumption by more than 40 percent, Lempert says.

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