Are too Many Choices A Good Thing?

Share, print or subscribe
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share in an email Printer icon Subscribe

The holidays often mean more choices, choices of special foods, different food appearing in the grocery store as “seasonal” items.

Mature woman reading milk label in supermarket, side view, close-up

Are more choices a good thing? A regular grocery store has over 25,000 items. This is a huge increase from several decades ago when the average was around 15,000 items. The increase in choices has not coincided with better diets for most Americans. Sometimes too many choices is a bad thing. When faced with a buffet, we tend to eat more based on the number of choices. How can we limit choices in at least some of our eating occasions to help us eat healthy?

One way that I try to remove some of the choice in my daily life is to stick with the same breakfast. This allows me to remove the pressure of having to choose from at least one meal a day. It also allows me to pay even more attention to the other eating opportunities later in the day. Select one or two standard breakfasts and stick with those every morning. When I wake up I know I am going to have coffee with milk and either oatmeal or an egg and toast – no choosing, no guesswork.