Eating Junk Food in Front of Mirror Makes It Less Appetizing, Study Finds

Eating unhealthy food in front of a mirror makes it less appealing, while the same effect does not apply to healthy food
Eating Junk Food in Front of Mirror Makes It Less Appetizing, Study Finds

Photo Modified: Flickr/Laura D'Alessandro/CC 2.0

In a study, subjects found the cake less tasty when they were forced to watch themselves eat it.

Watching yourself eat unhealthy food in the mirror actually makes the food less appealing, while eating healthy food does not lose its luster, a study from the University of Central Florida has found. In the study, 185 undergraduate students were requested to choose chocolate cake or fruit salad, and asked to rate its deliciousness. Some subjects were placed in a room with a mirror, while others were put in a mirrorless room.

Researchers found that the students who ate chocolate cake in a room with a mirror rated the cake as less tasty than those who ate the cake without a mirror, while the appeal of the fruit salad was not lost in front of a mirror.


“A glance in the mirror tells people more than just about their physical appearance,” the paper’s lead researcher, Ata Jami, Ph.D., told Psych Central. “It enables them to view themselves objectively and helps them to judge themselves and their behaviors in the same way that they judge others.” In other words, that chocolate cake became less delicious after people were forced people to confront their own bad decisions.