A study at the University of Miami has found you can prime someone to prefer high calorie foods using “tough times” messages. To me, this is one more reason to not listen to the news especially first thing in the morning.
Apparently when we perceive we are living in tough times, we are attracted to foods that will keep us satisfied longer – some kind of survival instinct. Disturbing.
- group primed with “tough times” ate 25% less of a food they thought was low calorie
- after being exposed to posters about struggle and adversity, participants ate 70% more of M&Ms they were told were high calorie vs low calorie M&Ms, even though they were really exactly the same candy
- participants exposed to neutral posters did not eat more of either type of M&M
- this showed that it wasn’t the taste (same M&Ms) but a higher value for more calories
Can read the ScienceDaily article here: