Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
New research published in the journal Health Education and Behavior links the foods on your countertop to your weight. In the Syracuse Study, researchers visited the homes of more than 200 families in Syracuse, New York, where they photographed the foods on display in their kitchens and weighed the female dweller. Women who had potato chips or cookies stored on their counters weighed about 10 pounds more than women living in households without those items in sight. Those who had soft drinks stored on their counters weighed about 25 pounds more while cereal was correlated with a weight increase of 20 pounds.
On the other hand, women whose homes had fruit bowls on the counter weighed 13 pounds less. “It was easy to predict the weight of the woman living in the house based on what foods they had on their counter,” says lead researcher Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions For Everyday Life (William Morrow, 2014) and director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. “What was surprising was the correlation between weight and cereal,” he says. “Cereal is one of those innocuous foods we think are healthy. They are branded as ‘high fiber’ and ‘whole wheat.’ We often don’t think twice about grabbing an extra handful when we walk by the box.” One stay-slim tactic Wansink suggests is storing foods like cereal, cookies, chips and soda out of sight while filling your fruit bowl with at least two kinds of fruit and placing it within three feet of where you walk.
See alsoWhat You Need to Know About Calories.