Friday, February 8, 2013

Tough times ahead can tip the scale towards obesity (USA)

Tough times ahead can tip the scale towards obesity (USA)A new study from the University of Miami recently found that a tough economic climate can cause weight gain for individuals. In particular, the researchers discovered that, during hard times, people are more likely to look towards high-calorie foods that will keep them feeling happy over a longer period of time. In addition, they found that, when paired with messages like "live for today," individuals were more impulsive in their actions and consumed almost 40 percent more food than a group who wasn't given a message that was more neutral in tone. On the other hand, when food was paired with a "tough times" message, people appeared to consume around 25 percent less of the food provided. "The findings of this study come at a time when our country is slowly recovering from the onslaught of negative presidential campaign ads chalked with topics such as the weak economy, gun violence, war, deep political divides, just to name a few problem areas," explained Juliano Laran, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, in a prepared statement. "Now that we know this sort of messaging causes people to seek out more calories out of a survival instinct, it would be wise for those looking to kick off a healthier new year to tune out news for a while." The outcomes of the study were recently featured in the February edition of Psychological Science, a journal affiliated with the Association of Psychological Science

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