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Why it’s a bad idea to go food shopping when you’re hungry


For some people, food-shopping is a tiring chore, something you avoid and never a task you look forward to. However, for others, it’s a wonderfully exciting trip, where you can skip up and down the aisles browsing through all the delightful ingredients for you to drool over.

However, whether you enjoy food-shopping or not, there’s been newly published scientific research that suggests going food-shopping when you’re hungry is actually a bad idea. This has always typically been something that people say just so you don’t scoop up everything into your cart out of pure hungry eyes, but now there has been research to suggest that hungry shopping should definitely not be something you do. Here’s why.

Why it’s a bad idea to go food shopping when you’re hungry

According to a research team at the University of Minnesota, the symptoms of hunger are more likely to activate behavior associated with acquisitions. This means you are generally more likely to have an uncontrollable desire to want and own something, even if it’s not a food-based product.

Basically, when your body is feeling super hungry, then the appeal to acquire something is significantly higher than when your body is satisfied and content. You’ll be much more likely to pick something up off the shelf wanting to buy it when you’re hungry – whether it looks tasty or not. Your body has activated its responsive desire for something, and so it’s telling you-you need everything!

These findings come from five different studies that the University of Minnesota conducted – there was one particular study that clearly shows how much hunger can influence your shopping. It took place in a real-life setting of a department store. They approached 81 shoppers leaving the facility, analyzing their receipts as well as getting them to fill out a questionnaire on how hungry they were.

The results significantly showed that the more hungry the shoppers were, the more money they spent, both on food-products and non-food products. This suggests that an underlying biological motivation is taking place when you are hungry, considerably affecting your behavior in wanting to acquire something, no matter your mood or no matter what that acquisition is – food or not.

Why it’s a bad idea to go food shopping when you’re hungry

Another of these five studies at the University of Minnesota also showed you’re much more likely to pick up the high-calorie foods too. On a lab study of 68 participants, some were either given as many crackers to eat as they wanted, and others were given none at all. They were then asked to carry out an online shop for their groceries and results showed that those who were given no crackers at all bought significantly more items that were considered high-calorie – candy, salted savory snacks, red meats.

So there you have it, next time you have the munchies and you think it’s the best time to go food-shopping, check the wallet, and the waistline! Not only are you more likely to make unhealthier food choices, but you’re also much more likely to spend money that you may not have on things you probably don’t need. Hungry food shopping may make you feel the glee of being a kid in a candy store, but really you are shopping at your own peril!