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There’s a such thing as the “fat” section at a restaurant. There’s even a connection between where you are seated and the likelihood of ordering dessert, according to a Today Health article .
Food psychologist Brian Wasink is the director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. He wrote a new book called “Slim by Design” that explores how minor factors such as your server asking if you want a to-go box before you order can have an impact on what you eat and how many calories you consume.
Wasink visited 27 restaurants around the country and mapped out their layouts. His research found that customers tended to order healthier foods if they sat in a well-lit part of the restaurant or by the window. Customers that were sat in a dark booth seemed to eat heavier foods.
Those sitting farther from the front door ate the fewest amount of salads and also were 73 percent more likely to ask for dessert. People sitting within two tables of the bar drank an average of three more alcoholic drinks than those sitting one table away, and those customers sitting close to a TV screen ordered more fried food. Lastly, people sitting at high-top bar tables consumed more salads and less dessert.
There are a few reasons why sitting more in the dark might make you order more. You may feel more invisible in the dark, and there are less people looking at you as you order. Or, seeing sunlight and people walking by outside the restaurant might make you more conscious of how you look and what you are eating.
Sitting by the bar surrounded by others drinking might influence you to drink as well, and watching TV might distract you from how much or what you are eating. Also, high-top tables might make you more visible to other customers and show off for better or worse what you are eating.
So be careful where you sit at a restaurant if you’re on a diet. Other ways to watch what you eat include putting less food on your plate and eating off of red plates to consume less calories, says Today.
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