Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Bright Outlook at Mealtime

Lighting can certainly set the mood when out on the town for a romantic dinner date. In fact, dining in a dim setting can even make you eat slower and have as many as 14 % less calories according to some studies! There have been few studies examining the impact of lighting on food choices, but new research from the Journal of Marketing Research found that dining in well-lit rooms could make individuals about 16 to 24 %) more likely to make “healthy” eating choices. This study was initially done on 160 individuals in four casual dining restaurants, but the results were replicated in later studies with college-aged students. The current thinking is that dining in a well-lit establishment may make you feel more alert, and therefore lead you to have more forward-thinking behavior and thus order more desirable choices.

So, what’s best: To dine in a dim establishment and eat slower and less, or to eat in a well-lit establishment and make a more “healthy” choice? According to Dr. Brian Wansink Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, “doing what you can to make yourself feel alert is the best way to avoid overindulging when dining-in-the-dark.”

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