A recent study suggests that simply seeing healthy choices on a menu satisfies our desire to be healthy, causing us to be more likely to choose more indulgent foods when we actually place our order.
Photo by Marshall Astor
Daniel A. Marano, over at Psychology Today, explains:
Context is just as telling when it comes to that all-important piece of real estate known as the restaurant menu. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that the mere presence of healthy offerings on a menu or on display in a restaurant or even in a vending machine can often be enough to vicariously satisfy our long-term health and nutrition goals-and trick our brains into allowing us to make more indulgent food selections, ones we would not otherwise make.
It's unlikely that restaurants will ever remove their unhealthy (but probably delicious) menu selections. Next time you're checking out your options and find yourself leaning towards the fried hamburger, keep in mind that the menu might be inadvertently messing with you head.
Nature's Bounty: licence to Fill [Psychology Today]