Does Your Seat in a Restaurant Determine How Much You’ll Eat?

It is unrealistic to think that people go out to eat in order to lose weight and stick to their diet, but can the location of your table determine how many calories you’ll consume while you’re there? Brian Wasinik, food psychologist, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Land and author of the new book, Slim by Design, conducted a study and found that there is a strong correlation between your seat in a restaurant and how much you’ll eat while there.

Wasinik and his team collected receipts from one specific restaurant for three straight months, along with a map of the restaurant’s dining room. They took those receipts and analyzed what the table ordered then compared it to where they were seated. What they found was that people who sat closer to a window or a well-lit part of the restaurant ate healthier foods. They also found that people who sat closer to the back of the restaurant were 73 percent more likely to order desert and less likely to order a salad.

Wasinik and his team concluded that people in the back of the restaurant felt more secluded because it was darker and that sense of “invisibility” influenced people’s decisions to be less thoughtful about what they were eating.

Obviously, the location of your table is not the only factor that affects how many calories you consume when you are out to eat, but it does highlight the need to be aware of your diet wherever you are, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Now that the holidays are upon us and many meals will be catered or celebrated at restaurants, it is important to be conscious of what you order no matter where you sit.

For the full article on this research click here.

Did this research surprise you? Tell us what you think in the comment section.

Photo credit: Suzanne Nillson

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