Photo: David Tsay
Stockpiled food is consumed twice as fast as other food in the house, concluded Wansink and his colleagues after an experiment in which they supplied families with either large or small multipacks of food. (Think Warholian spreads of either 24 or 8 soup cans.) The problem is simple: Bulky packages consume too much kitchen real estate; we see them every time we open the cupboard, for instance. Visibility translates into impulsivity, and, before we know it, we're eating more than we intended.
The lesson: Out of sight, out of mind. Move multi-unit packs of food out of the kitchen and into the basement, freezer, underground bunker...wherever that cluster of bright labels won't catch your eye. Wansink found that the feeding frenzy was worse in the first eight days that new multipacks are the house. After that, people became less attracted to the food, despite a still-ample supply, and ate about the same amount as they did of less-stockpiled pantry items.
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