Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life – Brian Wansink

(Reviewed by Britney Lentz)

As a recent nutrition graduate, I love reading the latest on food and nutrition to help me make choices that are more nutritious and delicious. But, as a recent nutrition graduate, I also need a little break from the hours of reading complicated research papers filled with scientific jargon and endless statistics. Enter Slim By Design, written by Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and one of the leading experts on eating behaviors. Slim By Design takes readers on an informative yet entertaining journey towards better health, slimmer waistlines, and improved food environments in our communities.

With comical anecdotes and original research conducted by the team at the Food and Brand Lab, Wansink shows you how you can engineer your environment to mindlessly eat healthier. The book is broken up into sections for each important part of your food radius, also known as the top five places that account for more than three quarters of what we eat. These are: your home, your go-to restaurants, your grocery store, your workplace, and your kids’ schools. In each section, Wansink provides inexpensive and easy tricks for mindlessly eating better.

Did you know that where you sit in reference to a buffet could influence how much you eat? Or that the type of lighting or amount of natural light can make a difference in whether you order a salad or a burger? Wansink presents these facts along with compelling insights demonstrating how it can actually be profitable for restaurants and grocery stores to make small design changes that help you shop healthier. Through simple adjustments that are quick and inexpensive, grocery stores can double the amount of produce and healthy foods they sell, schools can influence children to eat fruits instead of cookies, and you can reduce the amount of times you refill your plate at home.

My favourite part of this book was the “Slim By Design Scorecards” found at the end of each chapter. As a lover of lists, I thouroughly enjoyed having a little scorecard I could take around my kitchen, evaluating my environment and switching things up to help my kitchen work for me when it comes to choosing healthy foods.

Slim By Design is real, tried and tested scientific research woven into a book that is both practical and enjoyable. It’s light reading, yet educational at the same time. With New Year’s Resolutions right around the corner, why not read Slim By Design and start implementing some changes in your life that will set you up for healthy eating success?

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