Presenting healthy foods better makes them more palatable to eat

Presenting healthy foods better makes them more palatable to eat
Highlights

Scientists have researched and found that if healthy foods are presented nicely and easily, we could easily switch to healthier diet.

Scientists have researched and found that if healthy foods are presented nicely and easily, we could easily switch to healthier diet.


A new Cornell study analyzed 112 studies that collected information about healthy eating behaviors and found that most healthy eaters did so because a restaurant, grocery store, school cafeteria, or spouse made foods like fruits and vegetables visible and easy to reach (convenient), enticingly displayed (attractive), and appear like an obvious choice (normal).

Study's author Brian Wansink, Ph.D. said that a healthy diet can be as easy as making the healthiest choice the most convenient, attractive, and normal.

The study shows that when fruit is put in a nice bowl next to your car keys-or when a cafeteria puts it next to a well-lit cash register-it becomes more convenient, attractive, and normal to grab a banana than the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the far back of the freezer. When restaurants give the high-profit shrimp salad appetizer an enticing name, highlight it on the menu, and have the waitress point it out as a special, it becomes more convenient, attractive, and normal to order that than the deep-fried onion rings on the back of the menu.

Wansink said that using these three principles, there were endless changes that could be made to lead people to eat healthier. For instance, if a school wants children to drink more white milk than chocolate milk, they can make white milk more convenient (put it in the front of the cooler), more attractive (sell it in a shapely bottle), or more normal (give it half of the cooler space instead of a small corner of the cooler).

The study is published in Psychology and Marketing.
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