Eat to the beat: Does loud music at restaurants lead to unhealthy food choices?

(NEW YORK) — Most of us don’t give much thought to the music that plays at a restaurant — unless maybe it’s too loud or you just don’t like it — but a new study shows it can affect what you eat when you’re there.

A joint study conducted in Stockholm, Sweden and the by University of South Florida Muma College of Business proved that the likes of Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Van Morrison led subjects to make more healthy eating choices, when the music was played at a lower volume.

But pump up the volume from a pleasant 50 decibels to an obtrusive 70, the study found, and diners were likely to pump up the calories, too — for example, choosing cookies over fruit, or a “hearty breakfast sandwich” instead of yogurt with granola. 

The paper, which was published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, notes that louder music excites a person, affecting the choices they make.  And it doesn’t just apply to restaurants — the same effect was found in clothing and other stores.

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