August 23, 2004

Too many choices

As regular readers know, I've been on the South Beach Diet for almost two weeks now, and I'm pretty happy with the experience, and the results.

But I saw this piece over the weekend that makes an interesting case that there is some human nature at work here that may be a problem as time goes on.

I'm particularly fascinated with how the notion of "more choices, produces more consumption" applies to other areas of life.

The Dallas Morning News, via Seacoastonline:

Research shows that the more variety of foods offered, the more people eat. For example, in one study, moviegoers ate on average 31 pieces of M&Ms when given a bowl with seven colors. With 10 colors, consumption rose to 52 pieces.

The same phenomenon occurred with jelly beans. With more color, consumption jumped from 12 pieces on average to 23. For whatever reason, choice encourages eating.

Posted by jackhodgson at August 23, 2004 10:43 AM