You read that right! Did you know that lighting can have an impact on your calorie intake? The Journal of Marketing Research found that dining in well-lit rooms increases your chances of choosing healthy foods by 16 to 24%. Dipayam Biswas, PhD, University of South Florida explains: “We feel more alert in brighter rooms and therefore we tend to make more healthful, forward thinking decisions”.

So, how about results in dimly lit rooms? It turns out that orders in dimmed down spaces resulted in 39% more calories! Lighting customization in a restaurant décor provides a unique ambiance and experience and there’s nothing wrong with that (yes, except the calories). Dim environments also have some advantages, “you actually end up eating slower, eating less and enjoying the food more”, says Brian Wansink, PhD, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

How can these findings help us make better choices? Well, unfortunately we can’t dictate our lighting preferences in public places we visit. But maybe cafeterias in academic, medical and therapeutic institutions can create an increased alert level. Now that’s food for thought!