Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I wanted to do this!! - Eating behavior at Chinese buffets

Dang!!, I've always wanted to do a study like this, but these researchers beat me to the punch. The things they look at here are pretty interesting (and frankly, pretty funny), but they could have looked at the types of foods people were eating (ex: meat vs. other), SES, ethnicity etc.... Of course that would entail more complicated data collection... This reminds me of this great study.

Eating behavior and obesity at Chinese buffets.
Wansink B, Payne CR.
Obesity 2008 Aug;16(8):1957-60.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the eating behaviors of people at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets differs depending upon their body mass. The resulting findings could confirm or disconfirm previous laboratory research that has been criticized for being artificial. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Trained observers recorded the height, weight, sex, age, and behavior of 213 patrons at Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurants. Various seating, serving, and eating behaviors were then compared across BMI levels. RESULTS: Patrons with higher levels of BMI were more likely to be associated with using larger plates vs. smaller plates (OR 1.16, P less than 0.01) and facing the buffet vs. side or back (OR 1.10, P less than 0.001). Patrons with higher levels of BMI were less likely to be associated with using chopsticks vs. forks (OR 0.90,P less than 0.05), browsing the buffet before eating vs. serving themselves immediately (OR 0.92, P less than 0.001), and having a napkin on their lap vs. not having a napkin on their lap (OR 0.92, P less than 0.01). Patrons with lower BMIs left more food on their plates (10.6% vs. 6.0%, P less than 0.05) and chewed more per bite of food (14.8 vs. 11.9, P less than 0.001). DISCUSSION: These observational findings of real-world behavior provide support for laboratory studies that have otherwise been dismissed as artificial.

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