Healthy Items on Menu Make Unhealthy Picks Easier

According to a news report from reuters.com, “Merely thinking about getting a salad instead of french fries can satisfy intentions to eat healthily, ironically making it easier to go ahead and order fries after all, new research shows.”

“In a series of experiments, researchers found that people were substantially more likely to choose the least-healthy option on a menu, such as a cheese burger or ice cream, when the menu included a single more virtuous option, such as a veggie burger or fruit,” said the story. “Because the healthy option is there, it somehow satisfies this healthy eating goal in them and then they felt liberated to sort of go crazy and choose something really, really bad for them,” Dr. Gavan J. Fitzsimons of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who led the study, explained in an interview with Reuters Health.”