Monday, May 04, 2009

Are Veggies Promoting Fast Food?

news you may not know

Don't Even Think About it...

Sometimes, good intentions fall far short.

New research out of Duke University paints a fascinating picture of how our minds and appetites intertwine. The scientists assessed the impact of adding a single healthy food choice to an otherwise typically tasty fast food menu. For example, to a menu of burgers and sandwiches, they added a veggie burger. You'd think this healthy alternative would be a positive addition -- just the type of thing to help improve the nation's physique. But...

In reality, the addition of the veggie burger had the exact opposite effect. When the veggie burger was added to the menu, many more study participants opted for the bacon cheeseburger -- the least healthy option on the menu. Prior to the addition of the veggie burger, 17% of study participants chose the bacon cheeseburger. This skyrocketed to 37% after the addition of the veggie burger.

Researchers say this upside-down impact is the result of what’s known as "vicarious goal fulfillment." It appears, just as with magic, the mind is a powerful tool that often plays tricks on its owners. In this case, simply thinking about making a healthy choice somehow fulfills that objective. The reality seems to be much less important.

Of course, being armed with this knowledge may open up some interesting new angles on diet avoidance. It can't be long before a new line of "healthy food" trading cards hits the market. They’ll be small but powerful -- simply focus on the pictures of fruits and veggies while waiting in the fast food line, then order the double cheeseburger and fries.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about eating whole, healthy foods, see this from the World's Healthiest Foods.


Post a Comment

<< Home