What you eat is what you see
Every time you come into your kitchen, you see—and can easily reach– the food that sits on the counter or kitchen table. It calls out to you to stop for a quick bite, a little snack. And, of course, whatever you’re grabbing, from fruit to cookies to cokes, will likely have consequences for your weight and health.
The Cornell University study, published in the online journal Health Education and Behavior,1 corroborates this hunch. It demonstrated a strong correlation between the food on kitchen countertops and the weight of the people who live in those kitchens.
The researchers, led by Brian Wansink, PhD, photographed the kitchen counters of more than 200 women residing in the Syracuse area of New York. They also recorded each woman’s Body Mass Index and that of their spouses. (Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measure of body fat using your height and weight. To calculate your BMI, go to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.)
Just follow the saying popular among the Cornell researchers: “If you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do.” Replace the sugary drinks and calorie-dense snack foods like cold cereal or cookies with a bowl of fresh fruit.
Bowl of fruit = Normal weight
Is fruit good for weight loss? Yes, and it’s also good for maintaining a normal weight. Among the study’s participants, women who had a fruit bowl visible not only weighed about 13 pounds less than women who didn’t, they were also more likely to be in normal weight ranges.
The benefits of the kitchen fruit bowl also applied to men.
While children were not considered in this study, the researchers believe they are similarly influenced and affected by the foods their parents make available on kitchen countertops.
What is true in the kitchen is probably also true in the workplace. If pastries, candy, cookies, and soft drinks are not close at hand to tempt you, it’s much less likely you’ll grab them and gain weight.
So pack fresh fruit and veggies every morning before walking out the door, and keep them nearby – ideally, right on top of your desk – to quiet hunger.
Summing Up | Is fruit good for weight loss?
Yes. And this new study asserts that being strategic about where we put our fruit “can help us take better control of what we eat, how much we weigh, and how good we feel,” concludes Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center, where more than 100,000 people have come since 1975 to learn how to shed weight and live well.