Skip to Content

What's on Your Kitchen Counter Could Predict Your Weight


Snapshots of you standing in front of your kitchen counter could reveal a lot about your weight and health, according to a new study.

Researchers from Cornell Food and Brand Lab photographed over 200 American kitchens, hypothesizing that what is sitting on a person's counter can predict his or her weight.

“It’s your basic See-Food Diet – you eat what you see,” said lead author Brian Wansink, professor and director of the Cornell Food and Brand lab.

The study found that women who had breakfast cereal sitting on the counter weight about 20 pounds more than women who didn't. Additionally, people with soft drinks sitting out in plain sight weighed 24 to 26 pounds more.

'Slim by Design'

Wansink is the author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life and has long conducted research about how the proximity of food strongly influences our eating habits.

The positive news in the study was that people who had a fruit bowl sitting on the counter weighed about 13 pounds less.

Wansink is careful to say the findings are correlational, but that what's in your line of vision may certainly impact your food choices.

"We’ve got a saying in our Lab, ‘If you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do.’ If skinny people make their homes ‘Slim by Design’ by clearing the counters of everything but the fruit bowl, it won’t hurt us to do the same.”

Source: Cornell Food and Brand Lab
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/