High-Calorie Desserts Might Not be All Bad
Feb. 19, 2019
If you're going to choose dessert first, then the high-calorie option might lead to your eating a healthier meal, unless you have a lot on your mind, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
Researchers placed either a healthy or less healthy dessert (fresh fruit vs. lemon cheesecake) at the beginning or end of a university cafeteria line. When diners picked the cheesecake first, they then chose lower-calorie main or side dishes and ultimately consumed fewer calories than diners who chose the fresh fruit first. Those effects weren't found when either dessert was placed at the end of the food line.
"We believe diners who chose the indulgent dessert first then picked healthier main and side dishes to make up for their high-calorie dessert," said Martin Reimann, PhD, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Arizona who was one of the lead study authors. "Diners who picked the healthier dessert may have thought they already had done a good deed for their bodies so they deserved higher-calorie food further down the cafeteria line."
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