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Food for Thought

What you eat each meal impacts your body — and your brain. March is National Nutrition Month, and psychological science can help us understand the social, mental, and behavioral factors that impact how we choose food on a daily basis. Here are a few psychological scientists at the forefront of food research:

  • Neal D. Barnard is a clinical researcher and an adjunct associate professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He has been featured in popular documentaries such as Forks Over Knives and Super Size Me. Below, Barnard shares how changing your diet can offset the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • In a recent CBSNews.com article, Wen-Bin Chiou, Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan, says “after reviewing the literature of the prevalence of dietary supplement use, it seemed to show that use of dietary supplements is increasing, but it does not appear to be correlated with improved public health.”
  • APS Fellow Kelly Brownell, the next dean of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, is a renowned expert on obesity. Brownell was recently quoted in the New York Times article “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” and this NPR story on “Selling Kids on Veggies When Rules Like ‘Clean Your Plate’ Fail.”
  • Rena Wing, Brown University, studies weight loss tactics. Wing suggests that when portions are big, our appetites can follow. “Do the prepackaging for yourself,” she said in this New York Times article “Drop the Pasta, Dad, and No One Gets Hurt.”
  • Brian Wansink, Cornell University, who was featured in this recent NPR story “Cheese And Raw Veggies May Be Antidote to Kids’ Mindless Eating,” says that understanding nutrition doesn’t guarantee that we will develop healthy eating habits. Watch>> 

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