An Eastern Illinois University faculty member is to appear on CBS’s “The Early Show” on Friday, Dec. 1, thanks to Katie Couric’s interest in his research on food portions.
The network flew James Painter, chair of EIU’s School of Family and Consumer Sciences, to New York over the weekend to tape a segment about his recent health-related studies.
CBS had originally planned to do a segment on Painter’s “Portion Size Me” documentary on the CBS Evening News last November, but the piece never aired.
But when Couric, the new anchor of “CBS Evening News,” started doing her current series on obesity, she remembered Painter’s story and had “The Early Show” track him down.
“Katie is the one who said she wanted it,” Painter said.
During the taping Monday, Painter talked to “The Early Show” correspondent Susan Koeppen about topics including his 2005 “Portion Size Me” documentary, in which two EIU students ate nothing but fast-food for a month – and lost weight in the process. The key was that they ate the proper portions for their body types.
“Portion size is the key to the American obesity epidemic,” Painter said.
Painter and the CBS crew then ventured out to an ice cream shop to conduct an on-camera version of a recent study that Painter co-authored, called “Ice Cream Illusions: Bowls, Spoons, and Self-Served Portions,” which found that using smaller bowls and spoons helps people eat less food without even realizing the difference.
The CBS crew also used its own staff to re-create a study by Painter in which he found that people ate more candy if it was easily accessible, and even more if it were visible, such as on a desktop.“The Early Show” airs locally from 8 to 9 a.m. on WCIA-TV in Champaign. Two 10-minute segments from “The Early Show” are also aired earlier in the morning during WCIA’s local “The Morning Show” at 7:15 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Painter doesn’t know what time his segment is to be broadcast Friday.