Dressed to Slay? Choice of Clothes Determines Healthy Food Selection, Finds New Study

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In a year when most of us wore our sweatpants and comfortable clothes as we spent our coronavirus lockdown, research has shown that the more we dress up for our meals, the more healthier we eat. A report published in the

Journal of Business Research by Chinese researchers has shown that wearing smarter clothes while eating makes people more aware of the impression they are making, leading them to opt for better choices. According to a DailyMail report, the test was conducted on 79 students at a Southern China university.

They were divided into those wearing business suits and jeans and offered a choice between potato chips and cherry tomatoes as an afternoon snack. Almost half of the participants who were dressed formally refused to eat anything. Other 2% ended up sampling the crisps. Contrary to them, almost 40 per cent of those in jeans ate both. And out of those wearing jeans, a quarter consumed just the crisps.

The findings also revealed those who wore comfortable clothes opted for less healthy food. However, the Chinese researchers said students in formal wear felt greater restraint and self-control, resulting in healthier choices. Researchers also conducted another experiment where 277 people were divided based on their clothing style and were asked to choose between snacks of almonds or crisps at a supermarket checkout. Among those, two-thirds of them in suits chose to eat almonds against half of those in jeans.

According to the DailyMail,the team of Chinese researchers led by a professor in marketing at the Asia Europe Business School in Shanghai, Xuehua Wang said that their findings have significant implications for policymakers. The team of Chinese researchers further interviewed 288 people on the food choices they would make depending on the type of clothes they wore. Their study found that those in formal wear had an enhanced sense of self-esteem which led them to eat healthier food choices.

The research comes at a time when most of us are stuck at home to curb the spread of coronavirus and stopped going to restaurants. A survey by Hunter Food Study Specialreport revealed that 54 percent of Americans accepted that were cooking more than before the pandemic, while 75 percent said that they have gained more confidence in the kitchen and 51 percent said they will continue to cook more after the pandemic ends.