Study: Junk Food Cravings Are Bad For Your Wallet and Health

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When people are stressed out, they tend to crave certain types of food. When it comes to cravings, people don’t seek healthy food. It is natural for people to opt for fat-filled or sugar-laden junk food to satisfy their cravings.

While many health advocates discourage people from snacking on too much junk food because of the health repercussions they present, did you know that your junk food craving is not only hurting your health, but also your wallet? A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that people are willing to pay more when they are craving for junk food.

The Two Research Studies

In their experiment, they surveyed 44 non-dieters who had not eaten for a few hours and asked them how much they wanted to eat snack foods and how much they were willing to pay if they are given a $5 budget. They also underwent a multi-sensory experience and were asked how much they wanted to eat a particular junk food item and how much they were willing to pay.

The study revealed that the respondents desire increased. And the participants are willing to pay $0.66 more for items that they want and only $0.26 for similar snack items. When presented with less-similar yet healthy food items such as pretzels or granola bars, they were not willing to pay that much.

A second experiment repeated the process using 45 people. However, the respondents can pay for one, two or until eight “units” of whatever that made them crave food. The second study noted that people are willing to pay more for snacks with larger quantities.

The two studies demonstrated the power of cravings. And even if people live healthier lifestyles, their cravings can overshadow the value of their health. The most common reason why health is dominated by craving is that it can be hard to control craving unless intervention on their eating habits is done.

Junk Food Cravings Can Dissipate After A Few Hours

It may be a psychological thing, and craving is all about satisfying the brain and not the gut. This is the reason why people make the wrong food decisions when they are in the middle of their cravings. Even people who live healthy lifestyles are prone to consuming junk foods when they are craving. When asked why they revert to eating junk food, they reason out that craving is different from hunger. Perhaps there is something about cravings that make people forget about their health.

While cravings for junk food can be intense for people who are hungry, it can dissipate within a few hours. And no, you don’t have to eat food to stop the craving. You can do self-regulation to naturally dispel cravings or wait it out so that you can resist the lure of consuming junk food. By the time your cravings are gone, that’s the time when you decide to eat. And when you eat, try to consume healthier food options.

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