WANT PEO­PLE TO EAT THEIR VEG­GIES? GIVE THEM UN­HEALTHY NAMES

The Star Early Edition - - VERVE -

A SRE WE all petu­lant tod­dlers who need to be tricked into eat­ing our veg­eta­bles? One re­cent Stanford study says: Yes, yes we are. tan­ford psy­chol­ogy re­searchers found that peo­ple were more likely to eat veg­eta­bles when they had “the flavour­ful, ex­cit­ing, and in­dul­gent de­scrip­tors typ­i­cally re­served for less healthy foods”.

Here’s how they stud­ied it. Each day in a Stanford Univer­sity din­ing hall, one veg­etable dish was la­belled 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 la­belled.

Re­search as­sis­tants counted the num­ber of peo­ple who se­lected that veg­etable ev­ery day.

It will not sur­prise you to learn that the more un­healthy the veg­eta­bles sounded, the more likely peo­ple were to eat them.

Re­searchers found that 25% more peo­ple chose the in­dul­gently named veg­etable com­pared to the ba­sic one.

The dif­fer­ences were even more stark with the health-based lan­guage: 41% more chose the in­dul­gent veg­etable com­pared to the healthy re­stric­tive one, and 35% more chose in­dul­gent vs healthy pos­i­tive.

Also: “La­belling veg­eta­bles in­dul­gently re­sulted in a 23% in­crease in mass of veg­eta­bles con­sumed com­pared with the ba­sic con­di­tion, and a 33% in­crease in mass of veg­eta­bles con­sumed com­pared with the healthy re­stric­tive con­di­tion.”

But let’s get back to the names of th­ese dishes that en­cour­aged col­lege stu­dents to eat veg­eta­bles. They in­clude: “dy­na­mite chilli and tangy lime-sea­soned beets”, “twisted gar­lic-ginger but­ter­nut squash wedges”, “rich but­tery roasted sweet corn” and “slow-roasted caramelised zuc­chini bites”.

Ba­si­cally, if we want peo­ple to eat their veg­eta­bles, this study says we need to name ev­ery veg­e­tar­ian dish as if we’re Guy Fieri.

Roasted cauliflower? No, it’s “Al­lS­tar Fire-Roasted Cool Cauliflower Bombs”. As­para­gus? Nope, try some “Flamin’ Ace As­para­gus with Don­key Sauce Driz­zle”. Just call cel­ery sticks “Rock ‘n’ Roll Crispy Fin­gers”.

You’ll know you named it well if you can read it in the voice of a Carl’s Jr com­mer­cial and feel ashamed.

– The Washington Post

Sim­i­lar to chil­dren, peo­ple can be tricked into eat­ing veg­eta­bles by giv­ing the veg­gies ‘in­dul­gent’ names.

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