Paying by cash rather than using plastic could help you stay thin, according to new research
Consumers who take cash to the shops and leave their debit cards at home are more likely to leave junk food on the shelves, U.S. scientists have discovered.
The study carried out by Cornell University and the University at Buffalo analysed the shopping behaviour of 1,000 households. They found that supermarket trolleys had a larger proportion of junk food items when the shopper was using credit or debit cards rather than cash.
‘Two factors contribute to this intriguing effect,’ the authors explained. ‘First, there is a correlation between unhealthiness and impulsiveness of food items: unhealthy food items tend to elicit impulsive responses.
‘Second, cash payments are psychologically more painful than card payments, and this pain of payment can curb the impulsive responses to buy unhealthy food items.’
They even suggested that there may even be a connection between rising obesity levels in western countries and changing modes of payment.
In Britain, nearly a quarter
of adults were classed as obese in 2008, while 32% of women and 42% of
men were overweight.
What do you think of the new research? What other tips and tricks do you have to avoid temptation and stop yourself buying junk food?
Do you plan your meals for the week and make strict lists before hitting the supermarket? Do you avoid going food shopping when you’re hungry?