Getting yourself or your kids to eat more veggies could be as easy as coming up with a tempting name for your dish. According to psychology researchers at Stanford, people are more likely to chow down on vegetables if they have an "indulgent" name, like "sizzlin' beans" as opposed to plain old "beans." Diners are "motivated by taste," but labels affect "how tasty and filling we think food will be," study author Bradley Turnwald tells the BBC. To discover whether they could get people to eat more vegetables simply by changing the label, Turnwald and colleagues spent a month and a half serving up veggies in a university cafeteria, per a release. Some dishes got a basic label like "carrots." Others got a label like "twisted citrus-glazed carrots."
The veggies were always prepared the same way. But researchers found those with "indulgent" labels were by far the best sellers, with 25% more people choosing them than veggies with a basic label. In a sign that consumers view healthy food as less tasty, the "indulgent" veggies were also gobbled up by 35% more people than ate veggies with healthy-positive labeling ("smart-choice vitamin C citrus carrots") and 41% more people than ate veggies with healthy-restrictive labeling ("carrots with sugar-free citrus dressing"). A greater amount of indulgent veggies was also eaten, reports Time. Turnwald's conclusion: Labeling can sway us, but "emphasizing health can actually discourage diners from choosing healthy options." (What food is paired with veggies also matters.)