Spring Fever Inspires Healthy Eating, Study Shows

Staff Writer
A GrubHub study shows that nicer weather may be influencing diners to eat lighter and healthier

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

It looks like spring fever could be the solution to shrinking your waistline. After cross-referencing two years of online ordering data with statistics from the National Climate Data Center, GrubHub found that customers are more likely to order from restaurants with lighter, fresher food when the weather starts to heat up, according to their report.

“The seasonality of ingredients plays into menus across the country, so we were interested to see if temperature affected takeout orders in a similar fashion,” Mike Evans, GrubHub co-founder and COO, said in a release. “Our findings suggest a definite relationship between temperature and food choice.”

In the winter, statistics show that customers are more likely to order from restaurants carrying less healthy options, the top three being Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisines. Meantime, in the spring, diners are more likely to order low-carb options, salads, or seafood.

When broken down by each city, the study also showed that warmer weather leads 50% of diners from San Francisco, 25% from Philadelphia, and 10% of those from Chicago to order from restaurants serving low-carb dishes; 40% from Boston and 25% from Washington D.C. are more likely to order from restaurants serving low-fat dishes; and 25% of New York and L.A. customers are more likely to order from restaurants with gluten-free choices.

In every location, restaurants serving sandwiches, sushi, dessert, vegetarian, and Mediterranean cuisine were not affected by the seasonal change.

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Skyler Bouchard is a junior writer at the Daily Meal. Follow her on twitter at @skylerbouchard.