Want to Make Healthy Food Choices? Try Making Healthy Friends.

When researchers analyzed thousands of table orders from an Oklahoma restaurant over the span of 19 weeks, they found that people tended to order like their friend regardless of health concerns presented by menus.

What's the Latest?


When researchers analyzed thousands of table orders from an Oklahoma restaurant over the span of 19 weeks, they found that people tended to order like their friend regardless of health concerns presented by menus. "Diners at the same table tended to pick main dishes that were not exactly the same, but were from the same category — for example, if one diner ordered a mushroom burger, another might have ordered a bleu cheese burger." Brenna Ellison, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, said: "We want to be different from our friends a little bit, but not too different."

What's the Big Idea?

It's well known that most individuals want badly to fit into a larger social group and many are willing to sacrifice their identity--and in this case, their health--to do so. "In general, people didn't really like salads or vegetarian dishes, compared with the other food choices. But in the study, that changed if more than one person at a table ordered a salad: the more salads that were ordered, the more people liked them." The study has interesting implications for policy makers. Should they be encouraging people to eat better or to have healthier friends?

Read more at Scientific American

Photo credit: Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less