Study Compares Difference in Weight at Chinese Buffets
Have you ever looked at your patterns of eating when sitting down to a nice hearty buffet of food? A study shows that there is a big difference in the behavior of people concerning Chinese buffets.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the eating behaviors of people at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets differs depending upon their body mass.
Researchers studied 213 normal weight and obese diners at 11 all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. They found that overweight people sat 16 feet closer to the buffet, and also sat facing the food. They also used larger plates and ate with forks instead of chopsticks. Instead of casually browsing the buffet to make a choice in what they wanted, many started eating immediately. All of these were factors that caused them to overeat.
"What's crazy is that these people are generally unaware of what they're doing - they're unaware of sitting closer, facing the food, chewing less, and so on," says lead author Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab.
Researchers found that 27% of normal weight diners faced the buffet while eating, whereas 42% of obese diners did. Overweight diners sat about 16 feet closer to the buffet than normal weight diners. Sitting at a booth rather than a table was more common for normal weight diners - 38% vs. 16% - as was browsing the buffet before serving (71% to 33%). Finally, the authors looked at utensil use and found that 24% of normal-weight people used chopsticks, but only 9% of overweight people did. It also said that normal weight people were more likely to have a napkin on their lap.
The study was conducted by Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab and published in the journal Obesity.
I'll have to check out my eating patterns the next time I go to a Chinese buffet. I already know that I don't use chopsticks because it takes too long to eat with them. I wonder if this study was done in restaurants where the waitress sat the patrons or if they seated themselves?