Why You Eat So Much Junk Food And How To Stop It
Research into junk food habits found that people are more inclined to indulge if the unhealthy food is offered to them by someone else compared to if they were to serve it to themselves.
A new study says that we eat more junk food when other people give us food.
We find that when participants are given the choice of whether or not to consume snacks that they perceive as relatively unhealthy, they have a greater inclination to consume these snacks when less (versus more) physical involvement is required to help themselves to the food.
If we put in more effort, like getting up to the fridge and scooping the ice cream in the bowl ourselves, we don’t eat as much.
We suggest that this behavior occurs because being less physically involved in serving one’s food allows participants to reject responsibility for unhealthy eating and thus to feel better about themselves following indulgent consumption.
The researchers came to this conclusion by inviting participants into a room with Reese’s Pieces to test their discipline. When the delicious chocolates were handed to the participants in individual cups, they were consumed. But if they were left in a bowl and required the massive effort of reaching for them, people resisted.
So if you’re failing at your New Year’s resolution, don’t blame yourself, blame your friend or partner for being thoughtful enough to offer you some junk food. Tossing the bowl in their face is a suitable response.