Heavy Waiters Mean Heavier Meals

The Lempert Report
February 01, 2016

Will fat waiters make you fat?

The answer….yes. According to the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, a study of 497 diners in 60 restaurants shows that diners who ordered their dinner from heavier wait staff were four times more likely to order dessert and ordered 17% more alcohol.  

The study compared each customer's order and Body Mass Index (height and weight ratio) to the BMI of the person who waited on them.  The result? A heavy waiter or waitress seems to have an even bigger influence on the skinniest diners. According to the research, along with the size of your waiter, the lighting, music, and even where you sit has been shown to unknowingly bias what you order.  

Although you might think you can’t change your waiter or the music in a restaurant, you can. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for the music to be lowered or to be reseated. After all it’s your health and your money!

What would be real interesting is to do a similar study on the impact of the service department people at supermarkets to see if having a deli clerk, for example, who is fatter makes us buy more fattening foods or larger quantities.