Obesity statistics in the US convey a sad story: more than two-thirds of all adults over the age of 20 now qualify as overweight or obese. Yet, in spite of the endless array of available diet programs, products, and the constant media coverage highlighting the dangers of being overweight, we keep getting fatter and fatter, with obesity rates still on the climb. While many blame a willpower deficit for the failure of 95 percent of all diet attempts, a series of new studies has shed some light on a few other possible reasons that all the diet knowledge in the universe doesn't seem to be making a dent.
According to a series of studies just published in the Journal of Consumer Research, people often opt for larger portion sizes because it makes them feel more important to do so. Strange though it seems, the "bigger is better" mentality apparently influences people to believe that large portion size infers higher status.
While it may be true that the quest for prestige does have a subliminal effect on whether you go for the mini portion or the maxi, other psychological factors apparently play a part as well. Check out this health podcast to find out the details on this interesting study and why we may be choosing unhealthy portion sizes based on our emotional state.