Or so says a recent study out of Penn State, and Barbara Lohse, one of the researchers. She calls this "eating competence." There is even a questionnaire designed to assess whether you know what you're doing when you shove food in your mouth, but after
Of course it's hard not to poke a little fun at the notion of "eating competence." It sounds like just another instance of making a simple idea way more complicated than it needs to be. Right? Who doesn't know how to eat?
Well, actually, plenty of people. As silly as it sounds, those judged by the questionnaire to be lacking in this "competence" were five times more likely to have unhealthy levels of LDL and seven times more likely to have high triglycerides.
So maybe we'll stop making fun of it now.
"Eating Competence" seems to come from a nutritional model developed by Ellyn Satter. (Though the model seems quite sensible, it's apparently named "ecSatter," which, sorry Ellyn, sounds pretty darn ungainly). Anyway, Eating Competence "incorporates processes such as awareness of hunger, appetite and eating enjoyment with the body's biological tendency to maintain a preferred and stable weight."
Of course, sometimes a healthy "awareness of eating enjoyment" can lead to problems, especially if the food causing that awareness is a double scoop of mocha almond fudge ice cream. Mmmm, does that cause some profound eating enjoyment.
But it really is a huge chunk of any healthy eating battle plan: how to figure out when you're really feeling hunger, not just cravings. And how to stop eating when you're not hungry anymore, even though there are plenty of tasty items left on your plate.
So Crabby is curious about the questionnaire, and she loves to take little quizzes. If anyone runs across a copy of it in their web travels, please do report in. Perhaps we can all find out if we're competent to eat our dinner tonight or we're just going to make a big ol' mess of it.
So, what do you guys think of the notion of "eating competence," and the fact it actually seems to correlate with heart disease risk? Or as usual, check in about anything on your minds!