Lighting plays a key role in setting the atmosphere in a restaurant, but exactly how much does it correlate to how healthy we eat when dining out? A lot more than you think, according a survey published in the Journal of Marketing Research.
Researchers assessed 160 customers at four chain restaurants and determined that patrons seated in well-lit dining areas were more likely to order healthy menu options in comparison to customers seated in a dim space. It was found that patrons in an ambient setting were inclined to order baked and grilled meals, unlike customers seated in more obscure, darker locations, who ordered 39 percent more in calories.
To warrant these results, researchers conducted four additional studies on 700 college-aged students. They found that patrons were more alert with the use of a caffeine placebo or with a specific prompt, despite the lighting of the location. As a result, researchers were able to conclude that we make healthier dining choices in well-lit spaces because of our level of energy.
While lighting is key to setting the ambiance of a dining experience, the bottom line is despite the aura of your next dinner spot, the best way to remain conscious of your indulging is to find ways to make yourself feel as alert as possible. We'll definitely be adding this to our growing list of interesting ways to lose weight.