Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink
Cornell University | CU · Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Ph.D.

About

637
Publications
304,322
Reads
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22,388
Citations
Introduction
Brian Wansink’s expertise is uncovering how the biases in our eating behavior and shopping behavior can be reversed in healthy, profitable, win-win ways. This is relevant to medicine, nutrition, obesity, public policy, and marketing. He's the former Ex Dir of the USDAs Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (2007-2009), a bestselling author, Co-Founder of the Smarter Lunchroom Movement, an Iowa native, father of 3 girls , and past President of the Society for Nutrition Ed. and Behavior.
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
June 2005 - present
Cornell University
Position
  • John S. Dyson Chair of Consumer Behavior
January 2005 - June 2007
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
June 1997 - June 2005
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (637)
Article
Introduction The objective of this article is to analyze whether visual plate-related dietary guidance systems - such as the MyPlate guideline or the Half-Plate Rule - help people eat better when dining at home or in restaurants. Methods To help explore this, 104 young adults were randomly assigned to follow either (1) USDA MyPlate guidelines, (2)...
Article
Full-text available
Background: How does a parent’s action at home sabotage the way their child eats when they are not at home? This two-part study explored which parental behaviors at home were most correlated with 75 preschooler’s requests for larger servings of snacks when away from home and away from parental scrutiny.Methods: Primary meal providers of three- to f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Can visual plate-related dietary guidance systems -- such as the MyPlate guideline or the Half-Plate Rule -- help people eat better when dining at home or in restaurants? To help explore this, 104 young adults completed a food diary study after having been randomly assigned to follow either 1) USDA MyPlate guidelines, 2) the Half-Plate Rule, or 3)...
Chapter
Full-text available
Watching people can be better than listening to them. Observational research can illuminate the unconscious behaviors that lead to breakthrough solutions to problems. This chapter is a manual on to use observational research to solve problems. Specifically, it focuses on how to find potential breakthrough insights, how to confirm them (using quanti...
Research
Full-text available
Can visual plate-related dietary guidance systems-such as the MyPlate guideline or the Half-Plate Rule-help people eat better when dining at home or in restaurants? To help explore this, 104 young adults completed a food diary study after having been randomly assigned to follow either 1) USDA MyPlate guidelines, 2) the Half-Plate Rule, or 3) no gui...
Preprint
Full-text available
Brian Wansink 2019 - 3 In 2017-19, about 18 of my research articles were retracted. These retractions offer some useful lessons to scholars, and they also offer some useful next steps to those who want to publish in the social sciences. Two of these steps include 1) Choose a publishable topic, and 2) have a rough mental roadmap of what the finished...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2018, six of my research articles in JAMA-related journals were retracted. These retractions offer some useful lessons to scholars, and they also offer some useful next steps to those who want to publish eating behavior research in medical journals or in the social sciences. These six different papers offer some topic-related roadmaps that coul...
Article
Full-text available
In 2018, six of my research articles in JAMA-related journals were retracted. These retractions offer some useful lessons to scholars, and they also offer some useful next steps to those who want to publish eating behavior research in medical journals or in the social sciences. These six different papers offer some topic-related roadmaps that cou...
Method
Full-text available
In 2017-19, about 18 of my research articles were retracted. These retractions offer some useful lessons to scholars, and they also offer some useful next steps to those who want to publish in the social sciences. Two of these steps include 1) Choose a publishable topic, and 2) have a rough mental roadmap of what the finished paper might look. That...
Article
Household food waste originates in three predictable stages – when shopping, storing, and serving. That is, food can be purchased and never prepared, prepared and never served, or served and never eaten. Building on behavioral economics insights, this framework focuses on why consumers waste food in these three stages and how marketers can help con...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose How will the words of a parent influence the adult weight of their daughter? This retrospective study evaluates how the recalled comments of parents made about the weight or eating habits of a daughter related to her adult BMI and satisfaction with her weight. Method A nationwide cross-sectional survey was conducted with 501 young women ran...
Article
This article introduces advertisers to a new segmentation technique based on an individual’s inherited taste sensitivity—that is, the “supertaster.” Three studies demonstrate that this inherited supertaster difference can explain blind taste-test anomalies, such as the Pepsi Challenge; heightened brand loyalty; and a reduced sensitivity to peripher...
Article
Objectives: To evaluate the effects of improved water location visibility and water dispenser position on the soda dispenser on undergraduate students' beverage choices. Methods: Two focus groups with pilot intervention surveys before and after, adding a small sign above the soda dispensers' water button for 6 weeks in a large US university's al...
Article
Full-text available
Decreasing alcohol in beer and increasing the pleasure of lower alcohol beers is a potential way to limit total alcohol consumption. Consumers’ willingness to drink alcohol-reduced beers is mainly limited by unfavorable flavor characteristics that arise during consumption. To investigate the temporal flavor dominance during consumption, we analyzed...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a small change behavioral weight loss intervention with or without a positive affect/self-affirmation (PA/SA) component on weight loss at 12 months. Methods: Black and Hispanic adults (N = 405) with body mass index 25-50 kg/m(2) selected one of ten small change eating strategies and a physical activity goal...
Article
Full-text available
Corrections to numbers reported in results, as follows: Results: Study 1 demonstrated that portion size depictions on the front of 158 cereal boxes were 65.84% larger (221 vs. 133 calories) than the recommended portions on nutrition facts panels of those cereals. Study 2 showed that boxes that depicted exaggerated serving sizes led people to pour 2...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To investigate whether bariatric patients experience changes in the enjoyment of health-promoting behaviours, and how those changes relate to weight loss success. Methods Online lifestyle survey for bariatric patients ≥ 18 years old who had undergone gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy >1 year prior. Changes in the enjoyment of eating be...
Article
Objective: To investigate whether bariatric patients experience changes in the enjoyment of health-promoting behaviors, and how those changes relate to weight loss success. Materials and Methods: Online lifestyle survey for bariatric patients ≥18 years old who had undergone gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy ≥1 year earlier. Changes in the enjoy...
Article
Full-text available
Background Extensive work has focused on the effects of nutrition label information on consumer behavior on the one hand, and on the effects of packaging graphics on the other hand. However, little work has examined how serving suggestion depictions - graphics relating to serving size - influence the quantity consumers serve themselves. The current...
Article
Full-text available
Background: A previous sales data analysis demonstrated success in selling healthier items at a concession stand. Questions remained regarding student satisfaction and whether the intervention reached non-health-conscious students. Methods: Cross-sectional anonymous samples of students at a large midwestern high school were surveyed before and a...
Article
Before food portions are determined at home, they are determined at the supermarket. Building on the notion of implied social norms, this research proposes that allocating or partitioning a section of a shopping cart for fruits and vegetables (produce) may increase their sales. First, a concept test for on-line shopping (Study 1) shows that a large...
Article
Introduction: The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement was developed to provide schools with simple, low-cost solutions to encourage students to make healthier food choices at school. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of fruit-promoting Smarter Lunchroom interventions on middle school students' selection and consumption of fruits. Des...
Article
Disruptive layouts, smart carts, suggestive signage, GPS alerts, and touch-screen preordering all foreshadow an evolution in how healthy foods will be sold in grocery stores. Although seemingly unrelated, they will all influence sales by altering either how convenient, attractive, or normal (CAN) it is to purchase a healthy target food. A Retail In...
Article
How does edible packaging bias taste perceptions and acceptability? To examine this, we conducted an experiment where we manipulated what information participants received about a product with edible packaging and whether participants ate the product with its edible packaging and core food product intact or ate the edible packaging and core product...
Article
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Objective How and why does competition and spectator involvement influence eating behaviors? The primary objective of this article is to explore the nature of competitive eating with the goal of identifying implications for other social situations. Design Study 1 investigated how many chicken wings were eaten by men and women in a 30-min eating co...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The widespread use of in-store marketing strategies to induce unhealthy impulsive purchases has implications for shopping experience, food choice and possibly adverse health outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine consumer attitudes and evaluate sales effects of a healthy checkout supermarket intervention. The study was part of...
Article
Objectives: Which design features of nutrition infographics make them memorable and compelling? Methods: First, we conducted 3 focus groups with a total of 28 participants to understand preferred infographic characteristics of adults who were mostly in their early 20s. Second, using between subject design, a slide show of single-image infographi...
Article
Media's presentation of eating is an important source of influence on viewers' eating goals and behaviors. Drawing on recent research indicating that whether a story character continues to pursue a goal or completes a goal can unconsciously influence an audience member's goals, a scene from a popular movie comedy was manipulated to end with a chara...
Article
Food choices are often habitual, which can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors; that is, selection of foods high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories. This article extends previous research by examining how marketing incentives can encourage healthy food choices. Building on research examining marketing incentives, temporal goals, and habitual behavio...
Article
Data obtained from 2924 persons by means of wireless scales show significant increases in weight over the Christmas holidays. Weights also increased in Japan during Golden Week, in Germany over Easter, and in the United States over Thanksgiving.
Article
School cafeterias and, subsequently, food service directors (FSDs) play a vital role in feeding children in the U.S. This study investigates which FSDs with different characteristics and organizational affiliations are most willing to embrace and implement new programs in their cafeterias. In 2014 we surveyed a representative sample of 8143 school...
Article
Full-text available
Traumatic experiences – such as combat, living in a conflict country or war-torn nation, or experiencing a violent crime or natural disaster – change social relationships and may also influence a life-time of consumer relationships with brands and shopping. Our focus on this previously overlooked area is centered on an analysis of the long-term sho...
Article
Boundary research can be risky, but it can also move academic disciplines into wider areas of influence. To help reduce the risk and increase the reward, this article describes new tools that boundary researchers can use to get started, published, and promoted. These include writing for surprising impact, positioning their research against a larger...
Article
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Music as an environmental aspect of professional workplaces has been closely studied with respect to consumer behavior while sparse attention has been given to its relevance for employee behavior. In this article, we focus on the influence of music upon cooperative behavior within decision-making groups. Based on results from two extended 20-round...
Article
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Can the frequency with which a food is depicted in paintings give historical insight into family meals over the years and across countries? To initially explore this question, 750 food-related paintings were screened down to 140 paintings from Western Europe and the United States depicting small, family meals. Quantitative content analyses showed t...
Article
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This qualitative study, grounded theory oriented, identifies familial affection and preference for abundance as major drivers of wasted food in lower-middle income American families. These positive intentions provide an improved understanding of household food waste, a problem with high environmental impact and moral implications. Based on empirica...
Article
Background Food pantries and food banks are interested in cost-effective methods to encourage the selection of targeted foods without restricting choices. Thus, this study evaluates the effectiveness of nudges toward targeted foods. Methods In October/November 2014, we manipulated the display of a targeted product in a New York State food pantry....
Article
Purpose Inside sources are people who interact with target consumers on a frequent or intense basis. They can have powerful insights about why consumers behave as they do. This paper aims to focus on how to identify, interview and leverage inside sources to uncover new insights about target consumers and how to better engage with them. Design/meth...
Article
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Background: Healthy default food choices have been suggested as a way to encourage better nutrition without restricting choice. Will they work with children and their favorite foods? Methods: A group of children, 6-8 years old, were treated to lunch at fast food restaurant on 2 days 2 weeks apart. On both days the children were served chicken nu...
Article
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Retail atmospherics Is emerging as a major competitive tool, and It Is especially notable in the restaurant industry, where lighting is used to create the overall ambience and influence consumer experience. In addition to influencing overall experience, can ambient light luminance have unintended consequences in terms of influencing what diners ord...
Article
Objective: Food packaging often pictures supplementary extras, such as toppings or frosting, that are not listed on the nutritional labelling. The present study aimed to assess if these extras might exaggerate how many calories��� are pictured and if they lead consumers to overserve. Design: Four studies were conducted in the context of fifty-on...
Article
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Sexual selection has been commonly considered by evolutionary psychologists interested in eating disorders among women; however, comparable attention has not been paid to problematic eating by men. We present the results of a field study through which we find that men eat more food when sharing a meal with women than with men. Notably, men appear t...
Article
How do cluttered, chaotic environments—such as messy kitchens—influence snacking behavior? How does one's mind-set help prevent unwanted snacking from occurring? One hundred one female undergraduate students participated under standard-kitchen conditions or in a chaotic-kitchen condition. Participants were also asked to recall and write about a tim...
Article
Although manager support is critical for workplace health and wellness efforts, little is known about how to best encourage managers to make creative or bold steps toward employee wellness. We posit that the right interactions between managers and employees could have lasting impact on workplace wellness. To consider how managers might be motivated...
Article
Full-text available
Does the use of teaspoon units in dose recommendations on Drug Facts panels of liquid medicine lead to dosing errors and could any such errors be reduced if millimeter units were used instead? Participants given dosing instructions in teaspoon units were twice as likely to choose a kitchen teaspoon as those given instructions in milliliter units (3...
Article
Boundary research can be risky, but it can also move academic disciplines into wider areas of influence. Fittingly, the new Journal of the Association for Consumer Research’s mission is to expand the boundaries of consumer behavior and to deepen its impact. Each issue focuses on having an impact both in consumer research and beyond. In the context...
Article
How do cluttered, chaotic environments – such as messy kitchens – influence snacking behavior? How does one’s mindset help prevent unwanted snacking from occurring?101 female undergraduate students participated under standard kitchen conditions or in a chaotic kitchen condition. Participants were also asked to recall and write about a time when the...