Speed Reading — Vegetables - Level 6 — 200 wpm

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Researchers have discovered that people eat more vegetables if the veggies have trendy labels. A research team from Stanford University in the USA found that sales of vegetables increased by 25 per cent after they were given trendy-sounding names. The researchers conducted their research on 600 diners for several months at the university canteen. They labelled all vegetable dishes in four different ways each day. Diners could select vegetable dishes with a "basic" label (for example with just the word "carrots"), a "healthy restrictive" label ("carrots with sugar-free citrus dressing"), a "health positive" label ("smart-choice vitamin C citrus carrots") or a trendy label ("twisted citrus-glazed carrots").

Researchers gave diners a wide choice of vegetables to see how effective the trendy labels were. They used beetroot, butternut squash, carrots, corn, courgettes, green beans and sweet potato in their test. These had names like "twisted garlic-ginger butternut squash wedges," or "dynamite chilli," and "tangy lime-seasoned beets". They found that the vegetable dishes with the trendy labels were by far the most popular. These dishes were 25 per cent more popular than those with the "basic" labelling, and 41 per cent more popular than those with the "healthy restrictive" labelling. A researcher said: "Labels really can influence our sensory experience, affecting how tasty and filling we think food will be."

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