Making Healthy Foods the Default Menu Dupes People Into Eating Better

If you serve it, they will eat it—or at least that seems to be a take-away from a new study on healthy menu options published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

Source: Making healthy foods the default menu dupes people into eating better

Not surprising. The default effect at work.

It’s also hard to make judgements based on data from a Disney theme park. It’s something that’s far out of the norm, and people tend to spend a lot more money there, and tend to eat things they wouldn’t normally eat.


Seeing a Healthy Menu Option Satisfies the Goal to be Healthy

American consumers, even otherwise healthy ones, keep choosing caloric indulgences rather than healthy foods at fast-food restaurants.

Public health officials have been pushing fast-food restaurants to offer more nutritious foods to help combat excess weight in the United States, where more than one-third of American adults are obese. And restaurants have obliged by adding healthy menu items. But it’s the sugary, fatty items that are flying — or waddling — out the door.

Source: Why Healthy Eaters Fall for Fries

It wouldn’t be accurate for me – going out means a “cheat” meal.  Especially if you subscribe to the “Never Two in a Row” plan

Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?

…I decided to do a price comparison to discover the restaurant menu items that serve up the biggest cost difference from homemade versions. As a reference, I used the menus of my local, reasonably priced diners and mom-and-pop restaurants. If you eat out at more expensive restaurants, the price difference will be even more extreme. Here’s what I found.

Source: Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?

While the article can be inspiring, it overlooks the reality of running a business.  Without profit, there is no business – that’s a non-sustainable business model.  A nonprofit classification doesn’t mean the business doesn’t make money – only that the surplus is used to achieve goals rather than distribute as profit or dividends.  So while the ingredients may be cheap (and cheaper if able to buy in commercial bulk prices), there’s other overhead to contend with like payroll for employees (including health, dental, pension – more generic than food but you get the idea), rental/lease for location, permits, heat/elec/AC/water.  These are the first things a food business needs to ballpark so they can cost their food.  After that, you can look at what the market will bear.  There’s good and bad to being the cost effective option in your market…

Another aspect is that cooking, like anything, takes time.  There was a quote years back: “It’s free if your time is worth nothing”.  Depending on skill level and aptitude, there are people who will rival professional staff.  And some can’t right now, but could with time and practice.

Sometimes, we go out just for the experience.  Whatever the culinary endeavour, I hope it’s enjoyable.