Shopping While Hungry Could Make You Fat

economy candyShopping while hungry could end in the candy aisle.

Eating before shopping could be an easy way to cut down on your high-calorie food consumption.

A new research study found that people who snack before a shopping spree buy fewer unhealthy food items.

“Even short-term fasts can lead people to make unhealthy food choices,” Amy Yaroch, of the Gretchen Swanson centre for Nutrition in Omaha, Nebraska, told Reuters’s Health. “Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry and you don’t have a list, because you’re just going to buy all sorts of junk food.”

In a simulated grocery store, participants bought more junk food when they were hungry, according to Reuters Health:

On average, both hungry and sated participants bought eight low-calorie food items, which included certain types of dairy products, meats and snacks.

The hungry participants also bought six higher-calorie items, compared to four purchased by people who’d recently had a snack, according to the findings published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The findings were backed up by a “field study” in a real-life grocery store: the later in the day it got, the more unhealthy snacks people bought. This may be related to hunger since it’s getting close to dinner time, but researchers can’t be sure since they didn’t ask people if they had eaten before their grocery trip. But the finding match up with the lab-based findings, Tony Goldstone of Imperial College London, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

The study was published May 6 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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