Size Matters When You’re Waist Watching

The secret to keeping next year’s resolution to eat better may not be the food in your refrigerator, but the refrigerator itself. When people keep more food in their homes, they’re likely to eat more. And refrigerator-freezers provide ample space to store those not-so-wholesome goodies.

According to a New York Times report, the average North American refrigerator has about a volume of 17.5 cubic feet (roughly 500 liters). But most current models have volumes of 25 cubic feet (roughly 700 liters).

This doesn’t mean the people who have larger refrigerators are larger, notes author and professor Brian Wansink, who has written about the subtle things that affect people’s eating habits.

But buyers should show caution when purchasing new kitchen appliances. Avoid models where the fridge and freezer compartments open side-by-side; they give a view of both healthy and unhealthy options. And most of us would pass up carrots for ice cream, given that choice.

One of the best suggestions may also be one of the most frugal: place clear containers or plastic bags of cut veggies and fruit slices on the refrigerator shelf; you won’t have to dig through the crisper for the good stuff.