Eating Behavior and Obesity at Chinese Buffets
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
2008 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)
Volume 16, Issue 8, pages 1957–1960, August 2008
How to Cite
Wansink, B. and Payne, C. R. (2008), Eating Behavior and Obesity at Chinese Buffets. Obesity, 16: 1957–1960. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.286
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Received June 18, 2007; Accepted December 03, 2007
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the eating behaviors of people at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets differs depending upon their body mass. The resulting findings could confirm or disconfirm previous laboratory research that has been criticized for being artificial.
Methods and Procedures: Trained observers recorded the height, weight, sex, age, and behavior of 213 patrons at Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurants. Various seating, serving, and eating behaviors were then compared across BMI levels.
Results: Patrons with higher levels of BMI were more likely to be associated with using larger plates vs. smaller plates (OR 1.16, P < 0.01) and facing the buffet vs. side or back (OR 1.10, P < 0.001). Patrons with higher levels of BMI were less likely to be associated with using chopsticks vs. forks (OR 0.90,P < 0.05), browsing the buffet before eating vs. serving themselves immediately (OR 0.92, P < 0.001), and having a napkin on their lap vs. not having a napkin on their lap (OR 0.92, P < 0.01). Patrons with lower BMIs left more food on their plates (10.6% vs. 6.0%, P < 0.05) and chewed more per bite of food (14.8 vs. 11.9, P < 0.001).
Discussion: These observational findings of real-world behavior provide support for laboratory studies that have otherwise been dismissed as artificial.