Yesterday, we talked about how our home environments can influence our behavior, particularly in the kitchen or dining room during mealtimes, and how we can make design decisions that have a more positive impact on our health.Research from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and the University of Illinois shows that behavior can be subtly modified by making choices regarding noise, shelving and temperature, all of which were discussed in the last post
.Today, we’re going to look at the last three design changes you can make to influence healthy choices in the kitchen or dining room:4. Bright Light Dieting
Tests conducted in restaurant settings show that people eat more and for longer when the light is low; it creates what scientists call “disinhibition” – a fancy word for people’s natural inclination to be naughtier in the dark.TIP: Keep your dining spaces flush with kitchen lighting
and natural sunlight, and you may notice that your desire to indulge may decrease.5. Odor Eater
Smells are a double-edged sword when it comes to influencing behavior in the kitchen or dining area in a common-sense way: Good smells make us hungrier, and bad smells kill our appetites. But, no one is suggesting bad odors are a good thing.TIP: Keep eating areas ventilated, and go easy on the cookie-dough scented candles. They can totally trigger your appetite, and it’s absolutely unfair.6. Healthy Table Talk
Scientists agree that an active and social lifestyle promotes better health, and many studies conducted in the home are used in support of this consensus. For example, research has shown that families who talk during meals
rather than watching television while they eat exhibit stronger health markers on average.TIP: Reintroducing the dining table
as a place to gather and share may help establish healthier routines for the entire family.Use these tips to think about new ways you can design and decorate your kitchen and dining area, and hopefully they'll lead to better energy for the whole family.