Salads a Licence to Eat Unhealthily

Think [gen­er­ic fast food chain] have been pro-health by offer­ing salads on their menu (cal­or­if­ic value of said salads aside)?

Maybe not, says new research show­ing that if a salad is on a menu, many are more likely to choose the unhealthy option than if the healthy choice was absent.

Col­lege stu­dents were giv­en one of two menus. One menu fea­tured French fries, chick­en nug­gets and a baked potato; the oth­er included those same items as well as a salad. The French fries, widely per­ceived as the least health­ful option, were three times as pop­u­lar with stu­dents select­ing from the menu that had the salad as they were with the oth­er group.

As Kev­in Purdy (Life­hack­er) says,

Once you see the salad, real­ize it’s bet­ter for you and know that it’s an option, your inner sense of self-sat­is­fac­tion is triggered, and then… you let your­self order fries, just because you were oh-so-smart enough to think about the salad, if only fleet­ingly.