National Mindless Eating Challenge

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 3:29pm

In the spirit of the New Year, on January 1, 2007, Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Collin Payne, both researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, launched the National Mindless Eating Challenge, a plan aimed to help people improve their health.

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The goal of the National Mindless Eating Challenge

Dr. Wansink, Dr. Payne, and others at the Food and Brand Lab conduct “top level research to help people use food in their life to be what they want to be. This could be to eat less, to eat better, or to enjoy it more.” Thus, the aim of the “challenge” is not necessarily to help people lose weight. In fact, of those currently taking the challenge, 68% want to lose weight, 6% want to gain weight, 12% want to eat better, and 14% want to help their families eat better.

How the National Mindless Eating Challenge works

Those who join the “challenge” are asked to choose 12 eating goals for the month and answer a series of questions. Based on the participant’s goals and answers to the questions, the 12 initial eating goals are whittled down to five—three of which are designated for strict adherence. Each Friday, the participant is asked to briefly report his/her progress, and at the end of each month, the participant must write a full report. With a new month comes another set of 12 eating goals. Based on these goals and how well the participant did the prior month, five are recommended, and three are again designated for strict adherence. Participants can remain on the “challenge” for as long as they feel is necessary to reach and maintain their overall goals.

National Mindless Eating Challenge: what is the secret to its success

The National Mindless Eating Challenge recognizes the futility in mandating a standard set of guidelines for all participants to follow—some participants will inevitably falter and feel discouraged in further pursuit of achieving their goals. Rather, participants set their own goals. Putting this amount of control in participants’ hands allows for a greater probability of success. Besides, research conducted by the Food and Brand Lab has shown that weight loss is not necessarily everyone’s overarching goal. So whatever your goal is, the National Mindless Eating Challenge will help you track your monthly progress, as it gives you encouragement and guidance every step of the way.

Take the "Challenge" with others

No matter what the challenge is, it's always easier with support of others. The Diet Channel encourages you to share your experiences while taking the National Mindless Eating Challenge by blogging about it.

To sign up for the National Mindless Eating Challenge, click here! Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the orange box.

To blog about your experiences on The National Mindless Eating Challenge here on the The Diet Channel, just click the button in the blue box to the right.