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NewsBites July 2013 Issue

Hungry Shoppers Buy More Calories

That advice never to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry is worth heeding, according to a new Cornell University study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers tested that notion in both a laboratory simulation using a “virtual grocery” and a field study. Participants in the laboratory study were instructed not to eat anything for five hours before the “shopping” test; half were then told to eat enough wheat crackers so they no longer felt hungry. There was no significant difference between the groups in total number of items selected, but the hungry group averaged 45% more high-calorie choices. In the field study, people who shopped before dinner bought a greater ratio of high-to low-calorie items than those who shopped right after lunch. Researchers said the findings suggest “that people should be more careful about their choices when food-deprived and possibly avoid choice situations when hungry.”

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