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By: Brian Wansink, PhD   Date: 11/20/09
John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and Nutritional Science and Director, Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University

Today, I participated in a Webinar provided by the International Food Information Council Foundation that focused on “Reversing Mindless Eating over the Holidays.”  The Webinar, video, and related resources associated with this blog have a number of useful, easy, “mindless” ideas on how to eat less and eat better over the holidays.  Most of them are from studies we've done in the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and can be found in my book, Mindless Eating.  Yet, something makes me a bit uncomfortable when people ask me for tips on how to eat less on Thanksgiving Day, in particular.

A number of years ago I heard someone say that gratitude and depression cannot co-exist.  I’ve thought about this on a number of occasions since then and the same seems true with any other negative emotion — disappointment, regret, loneliness, or frustration.  It’s impossible to be thankful about any aspect of our life (such as our food, family, eyesight, or even the computer) and for that to not shine some light on our day.

In 75 years, we’ve gone from depression breadlines and wartime rationing to affordable, convenient, great-tasting food cooked (or at least heated up) by loving hands.  There are 364 other days in the year. Thanksgiving is the day we can give ourselves a license for “Mindless Eating” — and be thankful for it.

Have a Grateful Thanksgiving.

What do YOU think is great about eating at Thanksgiving?


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