passive overeating
pp. The excessive eating of foods that are high in fat because the human body is slow to recognize the caloric content of rich foods; eating whatever is put in front of you, even to the point of discomfort. Also: passive over-eating.

Example Citations:
The study "raises some interesting questions," says James Hill, director of the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Consumers and experts, he says, "keep looking for magic ways of weight loss, whether it's Atkins or Ornish. But we are eating too much of everything. We have to cut down on calories and portion sizes and passive overeating."
—Sally Squires, "Low Carbs: The Adventure Continues," The Washington Post, October 21, 2003

There's term for eating everything you are served at a restaurant — then realizing you are basically too stuffed to move. It's called "passive overeating" and is the subject of a survey commissioned by the American Institute for Cancer Research, an organization devoted to exploring the link between diet and cancer.

The poll found that two-thirds of Americans clean their plates during restaurant meals, quite a feat when you realize restaurant portion sizes continue to get big, bigger and super-biggest.

In any case, research shows people who eat out are significantly more likely to be overweight.
—Lisa Muehlbauer, "Eyeing your driver's license," Buffalo News, February 20, 2001

Earliest Citation:
Scientists have coined a new phrase to describe the consumption of fat- laden foods which are partially to blame for the epidemic of obesity in Britain and other Western countries — passive over-eating. ...

"It is passive over-eating — we don't necessarily want to eat more ... but neither we nor our bodies are recognising the extra calories and reducing the quantity of food accordingly."
—Liz Hunt, "Obesity blamed on passive over-eating," The Independent (London), June 4, 1996

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