June 2009 Issue

Food for Thought: Exploring the Potential of “Mindful Eating”

Do you eat when you’re not hungry? Do you find yourself wolfing down food without even remembering it? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. In today’s world, people barely notice the act of eating, as they feed on demand from fast food drive-thrus, vending machines, and snack food cartons. The net result is that we’ve become increasingly out of touch with our body’s sense of hunger and fullness, as well as the pleasures of eating. In a 2008 General Mills online hunger and eating survey that included 1,049 men and women aged 18 and over, only 6% indicated that they almost always notice physical hunger such as a growling stomach before they eat. When subjects were asked how often they multi-task (driving, walking, working, watching television, shopping online, etc.) while eating, a scant 3% reported never. Only 34% of participants indicated that they decide a meal or snack is over when they feel full.

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