Brian Wansink (Ph.D. Stanford University) is the Julian Simon Fellow and Professor of Marketing, Nutritional Science, and Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois.
He earned his Ph.D. in marketing at Stanford (1990) and was a marketing professor at the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College (1990-1994), the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (1994-1995), and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (1995-1997). He then moved to the University of Illinois in 1997 to establish the Food & Brand Lab, which has a uniquely focus on the psychology behind what people eat and how often they eat it. A primary focus of the lab is in helping people eat more nutritiously and to help control how much they eat. An additional focus is on increasing the acceptance of soy foods and the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Because Dr. Wansink’s expertise is focused on the psychology and consumption of foods – ABC News has referred to him as the “Food Psychologist,” and he directs the content of www.FoodPsychology.com. His research focuses on how ads, packaging, and personality traits influence the usage frequency and usage volume of healthy foods. His research on consumption volume has won national and international awards for its relevance to consumers. His research has been widely featured on 20/20, BBC News, The Learning Channel, all news networks, and on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.”
Professor Wansink founded and directs the Food and Brand Lab, a series of test kitchens, restaurants, and cooperating grocery stores that are used to understand how consumers “choose and use” foods. With the help of researchers from psychology, history, food science, cultural anthropology, and agricultural and consumer economics, the mission of the Food & Brand Lab studies how to help consumers eat more nutritiously and behave responsibly.
In 1999, Professor Wansink founded the Wansink Consumer Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is funded by book royalties and speaking honorariums. The Foundation supports high school science projects dealing with consumer welfare and provides textbook-related scholarships to selected college-bound students who wish to promote consumer welfare through their studies. It also supports Consumer Camp, every March in Champaign, IL.
Brian was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and now lives in Urbana, IL with his wife Jennifer. He plays tenor saxophone in a jazz quartet (“Shaken Not Stirred”) and in an eight-piece rhythm and blues dance band (“The Usual Suspects”).
Books:Slim by Design, October 2014
Mindless Eating, September 2007
Mindless Eating, October 2006