Food for Thought

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The March 2012 National Nutrition Month theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape". The focus of this campaign is on the importance of making informed food choices and incorporating sound eating and physical activity in everyday life. This month, the Academy has shared several informative blog posts including ways to cut back on your sodium intake, advice on enjoying your food but eating less, and the big benefits gained from making small changes to what you drink. We can use this information to educate ourselves on how to achieve healthier lifestyles. I recently came across an article that caught my attention, “The Stanford Marshmallow Study”. This is not exactly what first comes to mind when thinking about healthy eating, but I learned of an interesting correlation between the ability of 4-year olds to delay immediate self gratification and lifelong success. In the 1960’s, a Stanford Psychology researcher offered hungry 4-year olds ONE marshmallow—or if they could wait 20 minutes, TWO marshmallows. Years later, when the children graduated from high school, the reported differences were dramatic. The tots that grabbed the ONE marshmallow carried this impulse towards self gratification into their adult years, resulting in bad health, low job satisfaction and frustrating lives. The children showing self discipline (the ability to delay self gratification and wait for a reward of TWO marshmallows) grew into adults with the habits of successful people, including better eating habits, higher incomes and more fulfilling lives, in general. In a nutshell, this study shows the importance of self-discipline and how it leads to lifelong success. To me an interesting correlation—a little self control when it comes to our eating habits can make a big difference in our overall health. Just some FOOD FOR THOUGHT. How do you practice self control while eating? Do you have any good tips? Story by: Maria Geronimo, Public Relations Director at EatSmart Products.

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