A new study has found that ordering lunch one hour before eating will increase the likelihood of making healthier food choices. The study looked at the eating habits of 690 employees and 195 university students.
The participants were more likely to select high-calorie meals when they ordered lunch right before eating (in other words, when they were hungry) as opposed to placing a lunch order an hour in advance (before hunger kicks in). The new findings reveal a new strategy to possibly combat the obesity epidemic.
Study author Eric VanEpps said, “Our results show that ordering meals when you’re already hungry and ready to eat leads to an overall increase in the number of calories ordered, and suggest that by ordering meals in advance the likelihood of making indulgent purchases is drastically reduced. The implication is that restaurants and other food providers can generate health benefits for their customers by offering the opportunity to place advance orders.”
Senior author George Loewenstin added, “These findings provide one more piece of evidence that decisions made in the heat of the moment are not as farsighted as those made in advance. For example, people who plan to practice safe sex often fail to do so when caught up in the act, and people who, in dispassionate moments, recognize the stupidity of road rage nevertheless regularly succumb to it. Unfortunately, pre-commitment strategies are more feasible when it comes to diet than to many other ‘hot’ behaviors.”
The findings were published in the Journal of Marketing Research.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Eating in bright light promotes healthy choices