Why we often do a poor job of estimating calories
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that the order in which we encounter food may cloud our judgment of how many calories we are taking in each day.
Author Alexander Chernev of Northwestern University showed participants photos of a cheeseburger, then the same photo after first being shown a salad. Those who saw the cheeseburger by itself estimated that it had 570 calories. Those who saw the burger after the “virtuous” salad estimated that the burger had 787 calories — a 38 percent difference.
“Simply switching the order in which our respondents evaluated the two meals resulted in significant changes in their perceived calorie content,” Chernev writes.
To find out more about the study, go to http://journals.uchicago.edu/jcrw