Well the combination of an empty stomach and a trip to the local food market can definitely be a no-no, but the notion has never been researched in depth enough to prove it as a fact . Do people spend more money and buy unhealthy type foods when shopping on an empty belly? Does hunger really influence a person that much in those circumstances?
The old adage “never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach” reigns completely true according to results from a recent study performed by researchers from Cornell University.
The Journal of Jama Internal Medicine published the findings of the study that consisted of 2 phases.
The First Phase
The first phase 68 women and men were required to fast for five hours previous to participating in the lab. Half of the test group was provided with a snack before their grocery shopping venture. Once at the lab they were instructed to select and shop for food in a “simulated” grocery store that was flourished with both junk foods and healthy foods. Although both groups selected the same amounts of food items, the ones that were not provided with a snack chose the most fattening and unhealthy foods.
The Second Phase
In the second phase of the study, the researchers followed 82 actual shoppers in a grocery store. Once again, they found that people shopping at times when they were most likely to be hungry opted for the foods that were ultimately unhealthy and fattening.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Rita F. Redberg, a cardiologist, said the findings provided scientific support for common-sense advice.
“I think all diet guides include the advice to ‘never go grocery shopping when you are hungry, and when I had young children, I added ‘and never with young children’ – because either of these factors seem to lead to less wise food choices.”
Shopping for groceries on an empty stomach does in fact influence food choices.