In commercials you always see pretty and slender actresses selling to you — thin women are considered more persuasive.
But a 2010 study at the University of British Columbia suggests a different mechanism in our decision making: identification with the seller’s body type.
The experiment had two parts…
First, a slender woman (BMI of 19) recommended participants eat one of two snacks: carrots or cookies.
Next, she put on a body suit that made her appear overweight (BMI of 33), and then made the same recommendations: carrots or cookies.
When the waitress was thin she was able to the persuade more subjects to eat carrots.
Great! We should all eat more carrots.
But the highest level of persuasion was when the “obese” server recommended cookies — more cookies were consumed.
Conclusion: thin waitresses help you make healthy choices, and if your waitress is overweight you are more likely to make unhealthy choices.
So the next time you are tempted to order that Double Chocolate Cream Pie — take a moment and think about your waitresses body type — it may be having a bigger influence than you think.