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This isn't the only day that Americans eat too much and, even in the aftermath of the Great Recession, we're buying too much, too. We hear that over-consumption is a feature not just of our culture, but of our psychology. We're wired for it. Does the remedy lie in taking control of one's own environment? Also, holiday travel: long security lines, carry-on bags and the cost of TSA screening. On Reporter's Notebook, even advocates admit it sounds hokey, but practicing gratitude is one way to make yourself happy.

US Army photo by Edward N. Johnson

Making News Holiday Travel: Security Lines, Carry-Ons and Costly TSA Screening 7 MIN, 28 SEC

The Transportation Security Administration "has lost its way" according to a committee of Congress, in a report concluding that the TSA needs reform. The US Travel Association says the thing that bugs passengers most is people who bring too many carry-on bags through security. Airlines encourage the practice by charging as much as $25 to check a suitcase. Bart Jansen covers transportation for USA Today.

Bart Jansen, USA Today

Main Topic Overconsumption: The American Way 34 MIN, 38 SEC

This is the holiday when gluttony is not just acceptable, it’s almost required if you try to taste everything on the Thanksgiving table. But ask yourself: is this the only time you eat more than you ought to? Obesity is a national epidemic, and over-consumption of another kind is on the rise. Credit card debt is up by 66 percent since last year and by 368 percent since 2009, when the Great Recession made Americans try to be frugal. Why do we want so much more than we can afford and, probably, more than we need?  Is there a relationship between mindless eating and manic buying?

Brian Wansink, Cornell University (@BrianWansink)
Peter Whybrow, University of California, Los Angeles
Mark Bittman, New York Times (@bittman)

Mindless Eating

Brian Wansink

Reporter's Notebook Why Gratitude Leads to Happiness 7 MIN, 59 SEC

happiness.jpgThe Declaration of Independence says we're all entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." How is happiness measured… and how can it best be pursued? We speak with a woman who says she knows at least one way: gratitude. Sonja Lyubomirsky is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, University of California, Riverside

The How of Happiness

Sonja Lyubomirsky

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