Softer Restaurant Lighting Means Fewer Calories
Softer lighting in fast-food restaurants can actually reduce the number of calories you consumer, according to a new study.
Researchers at Cornell University analyzed the effect of softer lighting and gentler music on customers in fast-food restaurants. The finding: the diners ate 18 percent fewer calories. Although they still ordered the same food, customers consumed 775 calories instead of 949.
They also reported enjoying the food more.
The findings go against the conventional wisdom that people are inclined to eat more in a relaxed atmosphere.
“These results suggest that a more relaxed environment increases satisfaction and decreases consumption,” lead author Brian Wansink, professor of marketing and director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, said in a statement.
“This is important information for fast-food restaurants, which are often accused of contributing to obesity: Making simple changes away from brighter lights and sound-reflecting surfaces can go a long way toward reducing overeating — and increase their customers’ satisfaction at the same time.”
The results were reported online in the journal “Psychological Reports.”