"We've found that the presence of a healthy item leads people to choose the one that is the least healthy on the menu," [a researcher] tells WebMD. "Just seeing the healthy item and considering it makes you feel you've done your duty. It's crazy, but it's human."
Participants in a study who'd scored high on measures of self-control relating to food avoided french fries and other unhealthy choices when they had only unhealthy items from which to choose. But if a side salad was added to the selection list, even the most disciplined were more likely to take the fries, the researchers say.
Healthy menu items may sabotage your diet
An interesting story on WebMD. Here's an excerpt:
Posted by Ernie Bornheimer