Think [generic fast food chain] have been pro-health by offering salads on their menu (calorific value of said salads aside)?
Maybe not, says new research showing that if a salad is on a menu, many are more likely to choose the unhealthy option than if the healthy choice was absent.
College students were given one of two menus. One menu featured French fries, chicken nuggets and a baked potato; the other included those same items as well as a salad. The French fries, widely perceived as the least healthful option, were three times as popular with students selecting from the menu that had the salad as they were with the other group.
Once you see the salad, realize it’s better for you and know that it’s an option, your inner sense of self-satisfaction is triggered, and then… you let yourself order fries, just because you were oh-so-smart enough to think about the salad, if only fleetingly.