Written by: Ahmed Ali, Peak Associate


How the attractiveness of your server can affect the taste of your food

A study done by UBC and SFU students looked at how the attractiveness of a server affected the taste perceptions of male and female customers.

     The procedure involved getting between two to 600 participants per segment of the study. The participants were asked what they looked for in a dining experience and were served two sets of select samples from either an attractive or unattractive (consisting of makeup to give the appearance of acne, bags under eyes, yellow teeth and a ponytail) person or photo of a person. The samples included a kind of fruit juice as the sweet item and a vegetable spread as the bitter item.

     It was found that women were less influenced by the attractiveness of the server. But they did rate restaurant location, loudness, and taste of food as being more important than males did.

     Men rated the juice as being more sweet and enjoyable and less bitter in the presence of attractive females and the opposite in the presence of unattractive females. However, the pattern was reversed for the vegetable spread. Unpleasant tasting food was more unpleasant in the presence of an attractive server.

     The former (attractive people, pleasant food) is likely due to a spill-over in a positive stimuli affecting judgement. The latter (attractive food, unpleasant food) is likely due to a mismatch between stimuli making the food appear worse.


Community follow-up may not affect chances of rehospitalization for mentally-ill and homeless population

SFU Somer’s Research Group Conducted a study where they looked at data from 433 British Columbians who were homeless and mentally ill over a span of five years. The researchers found that community follow-ups had no noticeable impact on the chances of hospitalizations of mentally ill and homeless individuals.

     Patients can end up costing taxpayers $60,000 per patient, mostly due to hospital readmissions.

     The results showed that 53% of individuals were readmitted within one year, which indicated that medical staff require access to appropriate housing which may be used in planning discharges for the patients. This is significant as many prior studies indicated that community follow-ups tended to have a more substantial positive impact on patients.

     According to Somers, “Follow-up care after someone is discharged from the hospital only helps reduce rehospitalization if the patient is housed or is working. If someone is homeless no amount of medical care will compensate for the fact that they are homeless.

     “Taxpayers can invest in support programs like consumption sites or street outreach nurses, but it won’t put a dent in reducing the number of re-hospitalization visits.”