Narrator: This is Science Today. The next time you reach for that big bag of chips, you might want to make sure you get a bowl to put them in. According to behavioral scientist Margaret Chesney of the University of California, San Francisco, people who actually put food on a plate and sit down to eat tend to consume less than those who don’t.
Chesney: If you do what we might call grazing or free range eating, where you’re just wandering around the kitchen eating out of the box, people will lose track of how many Triskets they’ve had and then all of a sudden, it’s half the box is gone.
Narrator: To avoid overeating, Chesney recommends people have healthier snacks, such as fruit, late in the afternoon.
Chesney: So they’re not so ravenous and certainly to encourage people to take responsibility for what they’re eating and put it on a plate and we’ve all experienced this and there is this tendency to pull that box out of the cupboard and start munching away.
Narrator: Although there are other psychological factors involved in overeating, such as stress and depression, Chesney says behavioral medicine can make a difference by altering habit-forming patterns such as grazing. For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.