Are There ‘Fat’ Tables At Restaurants?

There’s A Wait ….Everyone Wants A Window

window cartoon

If you’re hoping to get your waistline reduced by a few belt notches after too many festive season sweets, choose your table carefully the next time you eat out.

That’s because a fascinating US study indicates where you choose to sit in a restaurant may determine your menu selection – and whether it’s a healthy choice or something decadent likely to put on weight.

Cornell University Professor Brian Wansink led the study which examined 27 restaurants across the US, mapping the layout and then matching up what the diners ordered against their seating.

And according to there seemed to be consistent patterns in what people ordered and seems to reveal where the skinny people sit.

Window Seat To Stay Slim


Some of the study’s findings:

  • People ordered healthier food if they were sitting in a well-lit area or near the door
  • People sitting at high topped tables ordered more salads and fewer desserts
  • The closer the diner sat to the TV, the more friend food he or she ordered
  • People sitting farthest from the door were more than 70% more likely to order dessert

Cause & Effect or Random Choice?

window seats

Professor Wansink comments that some of these choices may seem “intuitive.” The more “intimate” the lighting, the less conspicuous you might feel about ordering a chocolate sundae.  Distracted by TV, you may be less aware of ordering French fries. And sitting near a window may make you feel more self-conscious about how you look and more likely to make a healthy choice.

The Prof is not willing to be drawn on whether it’s a case of “cause and effect.”

Slim By Design 

fat tables


“Either well-lit, elevated tables near windows make you eat better, or people who eat better like to eat at well-lit, elevated tables,” he says in Slim By Design, a book which offers research to help make “eating healthy mindlessly easy.”

Meanwhile, if you are wanting to stay accountable to yourself for sensible eating, it’s probably a good decision to choose a well lit table near a door or window the next time you eat out!



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