(This column originally was published in 2018)
I never got far enough to find out how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
I was just like the hippo, fox, turtle and owl in the commercial.
Always ended up biting and then savoring the sweet, mouth-watering center.
Same with Charm Blow Pops.
I also could never chew the gum inside Blow Pops. For some reason, as soon as I began chewing, I had this overwhelming and uncontrollable urge to swallow the gum.
It wasn’t until much later in life that we discovered, thanks to a Purdue University research study, that it took an average of 364 licks to get to the center.
If I could use emojis, I would lay a few eyerolls in this spot.
Many studies elicit such reaction and we wonder who creates this studies and who pays for them.
I never heard the name Brian Wanskink until this week.
He’s a professor at Cornell University who resigned after a year-long review revealed that he committed “academic misconduct in his research.”
Wansink, actually, is one of the most well-known researchers, appearing on all kinds of television shows and cited in publications throughout the world for his ground-breaking and attention-grabbing “studies.”
Heard of this one?: We buy more junk food when we shop when hungry.
Or: We tend to eat more if we are given larger bowls or plates at the buffet line.
Gee? Ya think?
He also came up with the “bottomless bowl theory,” where if you are given bowls of soup that are automatically refilled, you tend to eat more soup.
He also studied the “Joy of Cooking” book and discovered that the more recent editions contain recipes with 35 percent more calories than the 1936 edition.
My favorite was Wansink’s study that concluded cereal box cartoon characters are deliberately drawn with eyes looking downward at an angle of 9.67 degrees to appeal to children. Who, another study claims, are usually shorter than adults.
Ground-breaking stuff and something that made him the go-to guy for snappy quotes and cooking shows.
The studies, however, not only were inane but were skewed. He basically formed each study to what he thought would be the most media-enticing conclusion. If the results weren’t in his favor, he told his staff to “try again” until it came out right.
I conduct studies all the time.
Why, just the other day I went to Tops because I was hungry and purchased a cinnamon raisin bagel, an orange juice and a chicken wrap for later.
I ate the bagel and discovered that my boss had brought in two sheet breakfast pizzas and a box of donuts.
My research discovered that, despite already haven eaten a bagel, I still was able to eat two large slices of pizza and a donut.
Proving that if you put delicious, high-calorie food in front of me, I will eat it. Even if I’m full.
Here are just a few of my other studies that I really should get paid for.
n I “discovered” that people tend to drive slower in heavy traffic.
n People who wave others forward at four-way stops, EVEN when they get to the intersection first, are complete morons.
n Children will eat more junk food if you leave them alone and pack the house full of chocolate, ice cream and chips.
n Girls are soooo much different than boys.
I do plan on expounding these conclusions after my grants arrive.
In the meantime, I am conducting what could be the most ground-breaking study of all but I need your help.
I am theorizing that if all of my readers send me money, say, $5, then I will become wealthier than I am. Which is not saying much because I’m stone broke.
I’m not sure what the outcome will be, since I am in the beginning phases of the study.
Please assist me in my efforts and I will personally thank each and every donor when my study gets published in Forbes magazine.
Donations can be sent to me, Scott DeSmit, c/o Batavia Daily News, 438 East Main St., Batavia NY 14020.
Again, I thank you and science thanks you.
Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter for The Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com.