Turn down the vol­ume for health

The Daily Examiner - - HEALTHY LIVING - Made­line Cox bodyand­soul.com.au

WE ALL know that mu­sic can in­flu­ence your emo­tions but re­searchers have found that the tunes you lis­ten to could also have an im­pact on your diet.

In the first re­search of this kind, sci­en­tists from the Univer­sity of South Florida de­ter­mined that mu­sic vol­ume has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on peo­ple’s food choices.

“A pi­lot study, two field ex­per­i­ments and five lab stud­ies show that low (ver­sus high or no) vol­ume mu­sic/noise leads to in­creased sales of healthy foods,” the study au­thors said.

Re­searchers ini­tially ex­am­ined cus­tomers at a cafe in Sweden over a pe­riod of two days and found that peo­ple chose health­ier items 10 per cent more of­ten when lis­ten­ing to qui­eter mu­sic.

They then re­peated the study in a lo­cal su­per­mar­ket and found that shop­pers who were ex­posed to loud mu­sic chose un­healthy foods more of­ten than their quiet mu­sic coun­ter­parts.

The re­searchers then re­peated the ex­per­i­ment in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment, ex­am­in­ing the re­sponses of sev­eral groups of stu­dents.

Al­though each group lis­tened to dif­fer­ent types of mu­sic at var­i­ous deci­bel lev­els, the re­sults were the same, with qui­eter mu­sic groups mak­ing health­ier choices.

In­ter­est­ingly, those stu­dents who heard no mu­sic at all also made un­healthy choices half the time – sim­i­lar to those lis­ten­ing to loud mu­sic – which led re­searchers to con­clude that quiet tunes may help the body to re­lax, lead­ing to bet­ter de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Photo: iStock

WHAT? Loud mu­sic can lead to un­healthy food picks.

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