Open Floor Plans May Lead To Over Eating

September 23, 2016


Open-concept living spaces are extremely popular and may be a reason why Americans are getting heavier. New research at the University of Notre Dame suggests having such easy access to the kitchen may lead to overeating. Two study groups where served buffet-style meals. For one meal, the students had a direct view of and access to the food serving area (the open plan). For the other meal, two wooden folding screens were placed between the dining table and kitchen (the closed plan). In the closed-plan setup, students could still walk through to the kitchen area where food was available, but they could not view the kitchen and food from the dining table. Investigators discovered that students in the open eating situation were 10% more likely to get up and head toward the food more often; adding nearly 200 calories to their meal.  Although it doesn't sound like a lot, over time, that could add more weight that is harder to lose. Their advice for those with open floor kitchens and dining rooms, food in the kitchen should be placed out of sight from diners or face away from your food in the kitchen when eating. The study was published recently in the journal Environment and Behavior.


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