Sometimes less is more

Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I read a study not too long ago that showed if you put your ice cream in a smaller bowl, you would actually eat less.

The body doesn’t register the smaller amount of food, researchers contended, as much as it did the fact you were eating a full bowl of ice cream, albeit in a smaller bowl.

Using this same theory, the study went on to say that people given fewer choices—such as food selection—often registered more satisfaction with their decisions than those who grazed a buffet.

The study reveals something anyone who’s flipped through television channels could have told you.

“There’s nothing on,” we’ve all said, as we take the time to scroll through 200-plus channels on the satellite dish.

This theory played out in real time when Greg and I went on a cruise earlier this year. If you’re ever been on a cruise ship, you know your television choices are limited. There were four channels and one of those was in Spanish. We never complained, though, mainly because you don’t spend too much time in your room on a cruise and, more importantly, we were content to watch a Mexican soap opera.

In fact, we soon became engrossed in the story, even though we don’t speak a word of Spanish.

Would we have watched this show at home? No. We would have flipped right past it, something that would have been a shame as the love story of Maria and Juan was one to behold.

The same theory holds true for the radio, too. In my college years, I delivered cakes for my grandmother’s bakery.

The company van only had AM radio, something that never bothered me back then. I listened to gospel, talk radio or, on a Friday night, a high school football game from somewhere out in the county.

Today, my car has a satellite radio, as well as a CD player and regular radio, giving me access to hundreds of channels.

Despite this wealth of options, I spend lots of time flipping though channels trying to find something to listen to. Sometimes I give up and just turn the whole thing off, enjoying the sound of silence.

I hope the study about the smaller bowls didn’t cost a lot of money, as it seems pretty common sense to me. All the researchers had to do was to ask anyone who’s ever been on a cruise ship and watched a Mexican soap opera and they could have given you all the information you need.

– Leada Gore is publisher and editor of The Hartselle Enquirer. Her column appears each Wednesday.