Musical Menu

Is the key to eating healthier. . . Kenny G?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

The mealtime choices we make are influenced by our environment. Bright lights, colorful restaurants, sticky icky menus, … even how loud the music is!

Courtney Szocs and colleagues studied the impact of music volume on decision making. Researchers partnered with a cafe and monitored what foods were purchased. Each item was identified as healthy, unhealthy, or neutral. They then controlled the volume of the music playing at the cafe, from barely audible, to just below uncomfortably loud. The type of music was kept consistent.

What did they learn? Turns out LOUD music gets customers amped up, which leads to ordering unhealthy food. Soft music has the opposite effect.

Schools could use this information to promote healthy choices in the lunchroom.

So for a healthier lunch, turn down the volume – and turn down those chili fries!