Starbucks is Messing With Your Brain…And They’re Not the Only One

control Aug 08, 2014

For years I've been a huge fan of Brian Wansink's work on the psychology of why many of us overeat without knowing it. For instance, when we eat out of larger bowls or off larger plates, we eat more food. When we eat out of smaller bowls or smaller plates, we eat less. ALL WITHOUT BEING CONSCIOUS OF DOING IT. Size matters. (I want to make a sex joke here so bad it's not even funny.) Research shows if we're given the option of ordering a small, medium or large size we're most likely to pick the medium. (Interestingly the same goes when we're presented with choosing something based on price - instead of picking the cheapest or the most expensive, we go with the price in the middle.) 

I just learned Starbucks actually has a smaller size cup they don't put on the menu. Why? So you'll order the size that's actually the medium thinking it's the small!  This also means the "large" is actually the "extra large". I'm a huge fan of Starbucks - LOVE the coffee and as a traveler I appreciate they offer healthy food options - but this is sneaky. Especially when some of their drinks are high in calories and sugar. Moral of the story: When eating/drinking out order the smaller sizes when possible, and ASK if even smaller sizes exist.

To have Jenny Evans come and speak to your organization on stress, resiliency, performance and health, contact her here.

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