Strategic thinking can improve eating habits

WE’VE given the advice many times. Eat smaller portion sizes. Choose fruit and veggies, rather than fried fatty foods. Say no to that extra scoop of ice cream. 

Adhering to a balanced, healthy diet isn’t always easy, but it is important, and patients are often encouraged to muster all their willpower and make good choices. So is there a better way to counsel people who need to lose weight?

Researchers at the Rush University Medical Center, Chicago (RUMC) say a more effective approach is to teach patients about the biological and environmental factors that influence their dietary choices – and help them to devise strategies to counteract natural tendencies for unhealthy eating.

“Typically, overweight and obese patients receive education about dietary contributions to weight gain, and they are simply encouraged to fight the powerful urge to eat the delicious foods that are available almost everywhere,” says Dr Brad