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Mirrors May Encourage Healthy Eating Practices

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A quick glance in the mirror may be enough to deter you from eating unhealthy food, a new study reveals.

Researchers from Cornell Food & Brand Lab studied how 185 undergraduate students would make decisions about food when either in a room with mirrors or a room with no mirrors.

The participants were given the choice between a chocolate cake and a fruit salad, and they were asked to evaluate the taste of the food.

"Those who selected the chocolate cake evaluated it less tasty in the room with a mirror compared to those with no mirrors around," a news release on the study stated. "However, the presence of a mirror did not change the taste of the fruit salad."

Viewing yourself objectively

According to lead researcher Ata Jami, from the University of Central Florida, a quick glance in the mirror can help people view themselves more objectively, "and helps them to judge themselves and their behaviors in a same way that they judge others."

Mirrors can act as a literal reflection of how well one is adhering to social standards.

"When one fails to follow the standards, he/she does not want to look at a mirror because it enhances the discomfort of the failure," the statement explained.

When it comes to food, mirrors may have the power to lower the perceived "good" taste of foods that aren't so healthy.

A mirror in the dining room, the research suggests, may be helpful for people who want to adopt healthier eating practices.

Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab