When it comes to good eating habits a common term we hear is “eat in moderation.” But what does that mean? If I put a bag of chips in between two people and ask them to take out a moderate amount it’s unlikely they’d be the same. How different would the two be? Should they even be the same? Just what is “eating in moderation?”
A study conducted at the University of Georgia and headed by lead author Michelle vanDellen, sought out to find the true definition of moderate eating and how people in general viewed moderation. What they found was if on one end you had overeating and on the other end you eat as much as you should, our view of moderation lands somewhere in the middle.
Why is this an issue? “People are now saying, ‘Diets don’t work; you shouldn’t go on a diet. You should just live by the rule of moderation,’” says vanDellen, an assistant professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of psychology. You are leaving the role of deciding what’s moderate in the hands of the consumer, and with the rise of the obesity rate it’s difficult to say that we are doing a good job in practicing moderation.
Researchers found that moderation is naturally seen differently depending on who you ask, and also depending what is being eaten.