New York Magazine:
Should you find yourself at a New York City location of a chain restaurant this week, you will find something new on the menu: menacing little black triangles, each encasing a white salt shaker, meant to signify that the dish in question contains an excessive amount of sodium. The warning labels are in accordance with a rule passed by the NYC Board of Health earlier this fall, and they’re intended to alert consumers that an item on a chain restaurant’s menu contains at least 2,300 milligrams of sodium.
Instead, research from Cornell University’s Brian Wansink (and others) has shown that a better way to get people to eat healthy may be to use environmental cues — tiny, almost imperceptible nudges. Wansink’s research has found that something as simple as soft lighting and soft music can implicitly encourage people to order healthier food; even where you are seated in a restaurant has an affect on how you order. More information about what’s in our food is great, but most people aren’t likely to make changes to their eating habits just because they know better.
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