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Friday, November 25, 2011

Nutritionists Say Willpower No Match For Cheap Food, Big Portions

More evidence that overweight/obesity are choices.
Ditching the diet for Thanksgiving? Turkey with all the fixings isn't the only temptation causing would-be dieters to miss their goals, according to a new Cornell University review article that finds powerful environmental cues are subconsciously bending willpower every day.

"We're slaves to our environment," said David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell, who co-authored the article with graduate student Carly Pacanowski.

The article, "Free Will and the Obesity Epidemic," will be published in an upcoming print edition of the journal Public Health Nutrition*.

Levitsky and Pacanowski analyzed hundreds of articles on eating behavior and found forces that individuals have no control over are heavily influencing the obesity epidemic in the United States. These forces include cheap food prices and ease of access to unhealthy food. Social factors such as seeing others eat are also strong stimulants, Levitsky said, and have taken on more strength in the past 50 to 60 years, as restaurant dining becomes more frequent.
All it takes is just saying, "No."

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