Anyone watching their weight will know that at home you might be as good as gold, eating healthy dishes, but it's all out of the window once you get invited out to dinner. There are just so many tempting things on offer, you can't help but order the fattiest most calorific option, right? Well, maybe you really aren't to blame for your choices.
New research has found that restaurant menus often lead you towards the unhealthy choices.
Brian Wansink, professor of consumer behaviour at Cornell University, said: "What you order may have less to do with what you want - and more to do with a menu's layout and descriptions."
'What you order may have less to do with what you want - and more to do with a menu's layout'
The eye is naturally drawn to anything that stands out - this includes coloured fonts, highlighted words and things boxed or written in bold.
"But in most cases, these are the least healthy items on the menu," Professor Wansink continued.
The research included more than 300 diners and their selections and 217 menus were studied.
Descriptive names also proved popular with diners. Those with more detail sold better because consumers believed they would have a superior taste.
Previous studies have proven that dishes sold more and received a better reaction when the menu names were made more descriptive - even though the recipe stayed the same.
"When it comes to what you order for dinner, two things matter most: what you see on the menu and how you imagine it will taste," Professor Wansink said.
The expert also offered tips on overcoming the problem. He advises asking your server for "lighter" options rather than picking at random.
- Cover Media