People seek unhealthy foods in tough times
Concerned about the state of the economy? Afraid of tough times? You may be subconsciously eating an unhealthy diet as a result of those perceptions. A new study from the University of Miami found that people tend to seek higher-calorie foods that will keep them satisfied longer when they feel they’re going through “tough times.” People in the study ate 40 percent more calories if they were concerned about something in their lives, compared to those in a control group presented with neutral language.
The researchers suspect that the perception of tough times triggers a subconscious “live for today” attitude, including with regard to food. The study comes on the heels of the campaign season, when people were drowned in advertisements about war, the economy and deep political divides, which could have played a role in pushing people toward unhealthy eating habits.
The researchers concluded that taste was not necessarily a big factor in what people ate. Rather, it was a longing for calories that came with the sense of going through times of struggle.