Washington: If you are missing your goal of losing weight, blame it on the environment around you.
The new Cornell University study found powerful environmental cues are subconsciously bending willpower every day.
“We’re slaves to our environment,” said David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences and of psychology at Cornell, who co-authored the article with graduate student Carly Pacanowski.
Levitsky and Pacanowski analysed hundreds of articles on eating behaviour and found forces that individuals have no control over are heavily influencing the obesity epidemic in the United States.
These forces include cheap food prices and ease of access to unhealthy food.
Social factors such as seeing others eat are also strong stimulants, Levitsky said, and have taken on more strength in the past 50 to 60 years, as restaurant dining becomes more frequent.
The study found portion size emerged as one of the most powerful links to overeating.
“And it’s not just the amount you put on your plate, but also the package size from which the food comes determines how much you will eat,” Levitsky said.
The article will be published in an upcoming print edition of the journal Public Health Nutrition.