Not just a gauge of confidence level, posture can determine how good your food tastes, too.
Researchers at the University of South Florida say sitting makes your food taste better, according to their studies. They looked into how the vestibular sense — which deals with balance, posture and spatial orientation — works with the senses that deal with taste.
They found that standing even for just a few minutes can increase physical stress, and shut off taste buds.
In the study, marketing professor Dipayan Biswas had 350 people rate the taste of pita chips. People who ate the chips standing generally found the food less tasty than those seated chip eaters.
The research team then did the same taste test, but with brownies. Interestingly, when more salt was added to the recipe, the outcome reversed: Seated eaters found the treats more unpleasant, while standing eaters didn’t notice the extra salt and felt the treats were tastier than those who were sitting.
“This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up [vs. sitting down],” Biswas said in a university news release. “In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes.”
The team even tested temperature perception; they gave study participants hot coffee and compared satisfaction of seated coffee drinkers to standing ones. Compared to those who were seated, the standing coffee drinkers said its temperature was not intense. They also drank less overall.
What can we take away from this study? Well, eating while standing might help people lose weight because they tend to consume less while standing. The physical stress of standing can help burn some extra calories, too.
The report was published in the Journal of Consumer Research in early June.
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