In the first research of this kind, scientists from the University of South Florida determined that music volume has a significant impact on people’s food choices.
“A pilot study, two field experiments and five lab studies show that low (versus high or no) volume music/noise leads to increased sales of healthy foods,” the study authors said.
Researchers initially examined customers at a café in Sweden over a period of two days and found that people chose healthier items 10 per cent more often when listening to quieter music.
They then repeated the study in a local supermarket and found that shoppers who were exposed to loud music chose unhealthy foods more often than their quiet music counterparts.
The researchers then repeated the experiment in a controlled environment, examining the responses of several groups of students. Although each group listened to different types of music at various decibel levels, the results were the same with quieter music groups making healthier choices.
Interestingly, those students who heard no music at all also made unhealthy choices half the time – similar to those listening to loud music – which lead researchers to conclude that quiet tunes may help the body to relax, leading to better decision making.
It looks like it might be worth downloading some Beethoven next time you head to the shops.
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