To some, the atmosphere of a restaurant they choose to eat at is of equal, or more importance to the quality of the food they’ll order. However, if you’re one of those people who prefer an eatery with dimmer, dare we say, romantic ‘mood lighting,’ then there’s a chance that you’re eating terribly.
According to a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research, those who eat within poorly lit restaurants consume 39% more calories in their meals than those who dine in bright spaces. What’s more, these dark room eaters are more likely to order fried foods and dessert from their menu.
That said, the study reports that people can still make healthy dining choices in dark rooms if they are alert, be it through receiving instruction when ordering, or consuming caffeine.
“We feel more alert in brighter rooms and therefore tend to make more healthful, forward-thinking decisions,” commented Lead Study Author Dipayan Biswas, of the University of South Florida.
On the flip side, upwards of 24% of study participants eating out in brightly lit establishments were more likely to order healthy menu items, compared to those on the dark side.
These results are intriguing and all, but the last time we checked, many unhealthy fast food establishments still use bright fluorescent lighting a lot of the time. Just sayin’!