Research published in the Journal of Marketing Research links bright light to healthier food choices. The study observed 160 diners at four separate metropolitan locations of a chain dinner restaurant between 6 and 8 p.m.
Two of the restaurants used bright lighting (250 lux luminance) and the other two locations had dim lighting (25 lux luminance).
The researchers found that diners at the well-lit locations were more likely to choose healthy options such as baked or grilled fish and chicken than the patrons at the dimly lit restaurants. These results were replicated in a laboratory test of 700 college students where scientists attributed students’ healthier choices to the alert feelings that come from being in a bright room.