Are we all petulant toddlers who need to be tricked into eating our vegetables? One recent Stanford study says: Yes, yes we are. Stanford psychology researchers found that people were more likely to eat vegetables when they had “the flavorful, exciting, and indulgent descriptors typically reserved for less healthy foods.”
Here’s how they studied it. Each day in a Stanford dining hall, one vegetable dish was labeled randomly in one of four ways: Basic (“Green beans”), healthy restrictive (“Light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots”), healthy positive (“Healthy energy-boosting green beans and shallots”), or indulgent (“Sweet sizzlin’ green beans and crispy shallots”). The dish was prepared exactly the same each time, regardless of how it was labeled. Research assistants counted the number of people who selected that vegetable every day.