Based on research by VanEpps, E. M., Downs, J. S., and Loewenstein, G. (2016) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.
What are some strategies to help you make healthier eating choices?
Psychology researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon studied whether a delay in time between placing an order for food and picking it up affected the healthfulness of the meal. In a study of 400 employees from a large health-care company, longer delays between employees’ placing their order and going to pick up the meal were associated with reductions in calories for the meal. In another study of 200 college students, the researchers compared whether ordering food for immediate consumption versus placing an order in advanced would influence how healthy the meal was. The meals for those individuals who placed an order in advance had significantly less calories than those who ordered for immediate eating.
This research shows that making the decision of what you will eat in advance compared to ordering on the spot can positively influence your diet.
If you’re trying to eat healthy and watch how much you eat, plan your meals and shop ahead, not when you are hungry! Don’t be enticed by last minute add-ons!
VanEpps, E. M., Downs, J. S., & Loewenstein, G. (2016). Advance Ordering for Healthier Eating? Field Experiments on the Relationship Between the Meal Order–Consumption Time Delay and Meal Content. Journal of Marketing Research, 53(3), 369-380.