When there is a perception of tough times, people tend to seek higher-calorie foods that will keep them satisfied longer, according to a new study.
When subconsciously primed with such messages, a "live for today" impulse is triggered causing people to consume nearly 40 percent more food than when compared to a control group primed with neutral words.
"Now that we know this sort of messaging causes people to seek out more calories out of a survival instinct, it would be wise for those looking to kick off a healthier new year to tune out news for a while," said Juliano Laran, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, who conducted the research with doctoral student Anthony Salerno.
Further, when the same group primed with "tough times" messages was then told the food they were sampling was low-calorie, they consumed roughly 25 percent less of the food.
According to the researchers this is because if people perceive that food resources are scarce, they place a higher value on food with more calories.
The study was published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (ANI)