All kinds of menu strategies are used to shift attention towards items that are more profitable. If these items are also healthful, it's a win-win for both restaurant and customer. But in most cases they are the least healthful, according to Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and author of a study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, which analyzed 217 menus.
Two features in particular to watch out for: Diners are more likely to order a food that is set off in some salient way, such as with bold or colored type or in a separate box. They are also more likely to be tempted by an item with a more descriptive name (like Fork-Tender Beef Stew or Velvety Chocolate Mousse), because that excites taste expectations. The best way to order a healthful meal is to peruse the whole menu and ask questions of your server or the chef.
Also see Restaurant Menu Manipulation.