An article on NPR discusses a recent study that looks into the daily food habits of obese patients. Researchers wanted to quantify “every aspect of the home environment related to food.” They confirmed exactly what I have felt is my main issue. The availability of food leads to overconsumption.
[T]hey also found obese participants tended to keep more food visible in the places they spent the most time compared to non-obese people. If the bedroom was one of their favorite places at home, then snacks were also usually there in plain sight. In other words, food was almost always close at hand for the obese individuals. “It doesn’t take a big leap of faith to say if you’re spending most of your time where there’s more food sitting out to see, that’s going to make it harder not to eat,” Emery says.
The best example I have is the jar of candy. If there is a jar of candy out on the table in close proximity to where I am sitting, I will make several trips to the jar of candy. But if we do not have candy in the house at all, I rarely go out and make a special trip just to buy some.
Though this article is based on observation only, I think the take home message should be, put away your food. Having a tray of candies for “guests” is fine, but don’t leave it out when you have no guests, nor are planning to have any in the immediate future.