Bottomless bowls are an Ig Nobel winner

Oct 12, 2007
Bottomless bowls are an Ig Nobel winner
The Ig Nobel Prize that Cornell's Brian Wansink won for his research on the bottomless soup bowl. Credit: Collin Payne

Last week, he was featured in Time magazine and USA Today. This week, he's been accorded yet another accolade: a 2007 Ig Nobel Award. All three recognize Cornell's indefatigable Brian Wansink for his quirky research on why we eat so much.

The scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research has been giving out about 10 Ig (as in ignoble) Nobels (spoofing the venerable Nobel Prizes) annually since 1991 for "research that makes people laugh and then think."

Wansink's research on bottomless bowls of creamy tomato soup (hidden tubes imperceptibly keep refilling them) won in the nutrition category. He was on hand to receive his trophy, Oct. 4, at Harvard University from six authentic Nobel laureates.

The research, published as a featured article in the journal Obesity Research in 2005 showed that people eating from soup bowls that don't empty ate 73 percent more soup than those eating from normal bowls, said Wansink.

Yet, the slurpers at the self-filling bowls did not rate themselves any fuller than the normal-bowl slurpers, said Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and of Applied Economics at Cornell, and author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think."

"This research shows that we eat with our eyes and not with our stomach," said Wansink. "The cues around us have a huge influence on not only what we eat, but also how much we eat and when we feel full."

Each year, between 6,000 and 8,000 people are nominated for Ig Nobel Prizes, according to Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research; about 10 to 15 percent are self-nominations, none of which has ever been accepted.

Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Explore further: Video shows blind mother seeing baby for first time

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made

1 hour ago

Theoretical physicists at Rice University are living on the edge as they study the astounding properties of graphene. In a new study, they figure out how researchers can fracture graphene nanoribbons to get ...

Infrared imaging technique operates at high temperatures

1 hour ago

From aerial surveillance to cancer detection, mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) radiation has a wide range of applications. And as the uses for high-sensitivity, high-resolution imaging continue to expand, MWIR sources are becoming ...

Recommended for you

The 'fifth taste,' umami, could be beneficial for health

3 hours ago

The umami taste could have an important and beneficial role in health, according to research published in the open access journal Flavour. The journal's special series of articles 'The Science of Taste' also finds that ' ...

Why menthol chills your mouth when it's not actually cold

Jan 22, 2015

Try putting an ice-cube in your mouth. The insides of your mouth and tongue instantly turn numb. Hold it in still and you will feel pain. Now try sucking on peppermint. The mint itself is at room temperature, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.