Romantic Dinners Cut Calorie Intake, Study Shows

One of the many reasons to splurge on a romantic dinner for two

Sure, we may blame fast food in general for the obesity epidemic, but it turns out just by classing up their act, even fast-food restaurants could cut how many calories their guests eat.

Researchers from Cornell University discovered that when they transformed a Hardee's restaurant with softer music and lighting, customers ate 18 percent fewer calories.

"When we softened the lights and softened the music in the restaurant it didn't change what people ordered, but what it did do was lead them to eat less and made them more satisfied and happier," researcher Brian Wansink told Reuters.

The team added plants, paintings, indirect lights, tablecloths, candles, and instrumental music to half the restaurant, calculating how much time customers spent eating and how much they ate. The results, published in Psychological Reports, found that people ate slower in the transformed setting, which is decidedly more romantic.


"Spending that extra time eating a little more slowly at a more relaxed pace made a world of difference, not just to how much they ate but how much they liked it," Wansink said. Naturally, this doesn't mean every meal has to be at a date night hot spot; we recommend having candlelit dinners every night of the week in your own home. Because, why not?