Fighting the Flab Google Style

Google took an analytical approach to promoting better eating habits at its offices and some of the common-sense approaches they came up with would work in your office or home too:

Employees were eating too much of the free candy and that, the firm surmised, might hinder efforts to keep workers healthy and happy.

What if the company kept the chocolates hidden in opaque containers but prominently displayed dried figs, pistachios and other healthful snacks in glass jars? The results: In the New York office alone, employees consumed 3.1 million fewer calories from M&Ms over seven weeks. That’s a decrease of nine vending machine-size packages of M&Ms for each of the office’s 2,000 employees…

For Google, it’s more than just the candy that employees consume. In another case, the company tried to get workers to drink more water. So it stashed bottled water on eye-level shelves and behind clear glass. It then put sugary sodas on the bottom shelves of refrigerators and behind frosted glass. After several weeks, water consumption increased 47 percent while the calories consumed by drinking sugary beverages fell 7 percent…

But even the plates at the food bars have been Google-ized. To get people to eat smaller portions, the staff experimented with plate sizes, providing a big one and a small one. Nearly one-third of employees chose the smaller plates and didn’t go back for more servings. When Google posted the result in cafeteria signs, the overall use of small plates increased a further 50 percent.

Quite frankly in our house the best solution is to just not buy any of the stuff that's bad for you because not one of us has an ounce of willpower when it comes to food. 

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