Science Pretty Much Says You Can Blame Your Food Decisions On That Loud Brunch Place

We all know the age-old adage: never shop when you’re hungry. We tend to order more than we can eat when we’re hungry. But did you also know that noise also affects the way people consume food?

A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Market Sciences claims that the volume of music in a restaurant can affect the way we order. The louder the music in a restaurant, the unhealthier the food decisions that customers make will be.

The study was conducted by Dr. Dipayan Biswas, a marketing professor at the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. Dr. Biswas performed this study at a café in Stockholm, Sweden. The café played a selection of music set to different ranges of volume, ranging from soft melodies hitting around 55 decibels to louder tunes that hit around 70 decibels, reported HelloGiggles.

After analyzing the menu and organizing the items on it into categories of “healthy,” “neutral,” and “nonhealthy,” Dr. Biswas’ team observed over the course of several days that 20 percent more patrons ordered unhealthy items when louder music was being played.

In their study, Dr. Biswas’ team wrote, “high volume music/noise tends to enhance excitement levels, which in turn leads to unhealthy food choices” and concluded that restaurants and supermarkets could use ambient music to influence consumer behavior.

So, next time you’re eating out, pay attention to the kind of music being played and see if your cravings match up.