Yes, You Can Develop Better Eating Habits

by Sandy Todd Webster on Jun 17, 2015

Food for Thought

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine what creating strong visual cues for food might do for your eating habits. Placing a simple, attractive bowl of fruit on the counter instead of stowing the fruit out of sight in a refrigerator drawer could make the difference in your quest to eat “5 a day.”

This is one example of a healthy habit identified in a recent Cornell University analysis of 112 studies focused on healthy eating behaviors. The analysis led to the acronym CAN, a reminder that people can boost good eating habits by making healthy foods more Convenient (make them easy to see, simple to reach and ready to consume); Attractive (make them look enticing); and Normal (make them an obvious choice).

“A healthy diet can be as easy as making the healthiest choice the most convenient, attractive and normal,” said Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Slim by Design and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. “With these three principles, there are endless changes that can be made to lead people . . . to eat healthier,” wrote Wansink in a summary of the article.

He added, “For instance, if a school wants children to drink more white milk than chocolate milk, they can make white milk more convenient (put it in the front of the cooler); more attractive (sell it in a shapely bottle); or more normal (give it half of the cooler space instead of a small corner of the cooler).” And it works. In previous studies conducted by Wansink, each of these changes increased white-milk consumption by 30%–60% in schools.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 12, Issue 7

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.