A diet is always a turn-off even by thinking of the vegetables replacing your fast-food guilty pleasures. Carrots, beans, and corn sound so flavorless compared to sizzlin’ hot burgers and chili cheese fries.
Relabeling Vegetables and the Psychological Effect
Fortunately, a team of researchers from the Stanford University found a solution to this struggle. By relabeling vegetables with temping, snazzy names, they concluded that the intake of veggies grew by 25% in the university cafeteria, where the experiment was conducted.
During an entire academic term, researchers re-labeled different vegetables from their basic name to ‘indulgent’ descriptions, very similar to those you would find in a fast food restaurant. Even though the dishes were prepared in the exact same way, diners tended to refuse ‘healthy-sounding’ meals like ‘low fat’ or ‘sugar-free’, opting instead for the ‘indulgent’ ones such as ‘twisted citrus-glazed carrots’ and ‘sizzilin’ beans’. Moreover, the diners consumed bigger portions from the ‘indulgent’ category than the healthy or basic ones.
Researchers maintain that the items were accurately described and the experiment was not meant to be deceptive. The diners were not informed that the meals were prepared in the same way, the aim being to illustrate the power of the indulgent labeling.
The psychology department at Stanford tested the theory that people are generally driven by flavor, with the healthy sounding food seem as tasteless and unappealing and so, reducing the vegetable intake necessary for a healthier lifestyle. By rebranding vegetables, researchers observed how these indulgent tags reframed the idea of a vegetable in our senses and tricked our brain into reconsidering how tasty a meal would be.
Researchers believe that by implementing such an approach, it would influence people into increasing their vegetable intake and generally choose healthier options. Moreover, it would be a low-cost implementation that would aid in the fight against obesity.
Image source: pixabay.com
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