Dieting? Dim the Lights

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New research suggests mood lighting and mellow music at restaurants might help you lose weight.

Softer music and dimmer lighting in fast food restaurants makes food more enjoyable, according to a new study. That also apparently means people eat less, and slower. Reported Reuters…

In the study published in the journal Psychological Reports, [marketing professor Brian] Wansink and his co-author Koert Van Ittersum, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said the bright lights, stimulating colors, sound-reflecting surfaces and loud music in fast food restaurants are not designed to be relaxing.

At an Illinois Hardee’s where they tested the theory, customers still made the same orders. But adding “plants, paintings, indirect lights, tablecloths, candles and instrumental music” led them to eat 18 percent fewer calories.

Which sounds interesting, but a little wasteful. Maybe order something a bit smaller next time you’re enjoying the burger-joint ambiance. Researchers suggest trying it at home too.

Stacy Johnson

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