Skipping meals may make you buy more calories

Even short-term food deprivation not only increases overall grocery shopping, but leads shoppers to buy 31 percent more high calorie foods, a new Cornell study has revealed.

People skip meals for all sorts of reasons – dieting, fasting, insane schedules that make you forget to eat, said Aner Tal, PhD, from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, lead author of the study.

“But it doesn`t matter why you skipped a meal, it can still make your nutritionist cry – making you buy more potato chips and ice-cream and less baby carrots and skim milk,” Tal added.

In one study, 68 meal skippers were either given food (wheat thins) to reduce their fasting-induced hunger or not given any food to keep them hungry following the fast, and then asked to make purchases at a simulated grocery store.

The hungry shoppers that did not eat the wheat thins bought 18.6 percent more food – including 31 percent more high calorie snacks.

At a follow-up study, researchers observed late afternoon shoppers at an actual grocery store during the hours between lunch and dinner –the hungriest hours—and the hours just after lunch, when people tend to be satiated.

Late-afternoon shoppers purchased fewer low-calorie foods proportionate to their overall purchases, than those shopping after lunch.

The best advice to avoid this from happening is to make sure that you don`t skip a meal, or at least have a snack like apples or string cheese in your office, suggests Brian Wansink PhD, co-author of the paper.

“Breakfast is the most skipped meal, and even having something for lunch that has protein will cut your hunger edge,” he added.

Source: ANI
Image: Thinkstockphotos.com

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