Food psychology 101 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Food psychology 101

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A new study finds people tend to buy healthier food for themselves, but buy more indulgent foods when shopping for others, like chocolate or sweets.

Dr. Michael Manos says, "Things you would have like at a party, not necessarily healthy foods. When they were buying food for themselves, they bought healthy food."

University of Miami researchers asked people to choose between healthy foods like raisins and celery sticks and unhealthy items like chocolate bars and ice cream. Half of them were asked to choose items for themselves, and the others were asked to choose them for a friend.

Results show a majority of people choosing the indulgent items for their friends rather than themselves. A similar result was found in a second study, in which shoppers were questioned as they exited a supermarket. Researchers say people need to make more balanced choices when shopping for others. Doctors say we try too hard to make others happy.

"Ultimately I think the toll is emotional. It costs us in terms of stress, a sense of well-being, of having a rational pace in life."

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