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February is shaping up to be a carb-heavy month what with pancakes, fasnachts, and nián gāo.  Originally a way of using up all the fatty foods left in the house before Lent began -hence the French term, Mardi Gras– this year’s Pancake Day a.k.a. Shrove Tuesday comes the day before Valentine’s and three days before the Chinese New Year.  And if our poll this week were any indication, the impending avalanche of sugar and starch is welcomed by many.  Our hearty thanks to all fifty of you for participating!  (Click here for CCNY’s tips on sustainable healthy eating and some of our favorite pancake recipes.)

Like the rest of America, the vast majority, i.e., four-fifths of our survey respondents reported having a sweet tooth.  Given the sheer variety of favorite pancakes submitted, it is clear they are overwhelmingly popular amongst our readership.  One person however, expressed their disdain for the apparent pancake agenda by submitting the same negative response ten times in a row.  On the whole, our readers have fairly traditional –bordering on austere- tastes with chocolate chip (18%), plain (12%), buttermilk (10%), and blueberry (10%) as the most popular submissions.  A sizable contingent (10%) also declared their love of all pancakes while syrup was a top priority for 16% of our participants.  Unfortunately, there was no mathematically sound way to weight those responses with exclamation points more heavily.

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Slightly more than half of our respondents do not subscribe to the fat/ carb abstention myth, which is heartening as many comprise healthcare industry professionals.  Those who did think more exercise and dietary restrictions were the answer to weight loss were also more likely to find holiday binging more acceptable.  Males were significantly more confident than females in the assumed power of exercise in the battle of the bulge.  This may be due to the advantages that men tend to have where metabolism and total lean muscle mass is concerned.  Women’s bodies evolved to store fat more efficiently and therefore lose less of it than men (despite paradoxically burning off more of it) as this provides gestational benefits.  It would be interesting to see whether this trend remained constant in a larger pool of male respondents.

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We must note that due to our survey being rather informal, “binging” was not strictly defined, which left a lot of room for what “fine” could mean.  Of our respondents with resolutions, 59.3% were unconcerned with weight loss and 48.1% were not concerned with eating healthier.  Nevertheless, people were somewhat (1.3x) more likely to prioritize healthy eating over weight loss.  In a twist of fate that would do Douglas Adams proud, the proportion of our respondents who celebrate Mardi Gras/ Lent was the same as that of those who do not believe in New Year’s Resolutions: 42%.

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We hope you enjoyed reading as much as we did analyzing the data and bon appétit!