Hate Brussels sprouts? Eat them standing up!

June 11, 2019

If you enjoy nibbling hors d'oeuvres while mingling at a party, you may want to sit down: It turns out that standing makes it harder to register the flavors.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, posture impacts taste perception. And food actually tastes better when you're sitting down. The reason? As Science Daily puts it, the "vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavor."

Basically, when people are standing, they're less comfortable. So foods do not seem as delicious. Among 350 participants who rated the tastiness of a pita chip, for instance, those who were standing rated it as being less flavorful and appetizing than those who were sitting in a comfortable, padded chair.

But if food tastes less delicious, it may be because it just has less taste overall-and this is something crafty parents could use to their advantage: "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)," says lead author Dipayan Biswas, PhD, professor of marketing at the University of South Florida. "In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes."

And if you're a picky eater yourself, it's may work to help get in those extra recommended daily veggies from certain foods you don't like much. (Here's looking at you, Brussels sprouts!)

The takeaway? The next time you're digging into a decadent slice of chocolate cake, take a seat, and really savor it. And when you need to get a little more nutrient-rich, but less appealing steamed spinach, stand on up.

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