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: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Man celebrates 85 years of living with diabetes

May 30, 2011

(AP) -- When Bob Krause turned 90 last week, it was by virtue of an unflagging determination and a mentality of precision that kept his body humming after being diagnosed with diabetes as a boy.

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.