Eating Habits Drives People To Eat Bad Food

Called “environmental cues” by scientists, the elements that surround when and where we eat can define what we eat, even if it tastes bad.

The scientists at USC conducted an experiment testing whether or not movie-goers who generally ate popcorn at the movies would eat week old stale popcorn. Those who didn’t usually eat popcorn at the movies ate much less of the stale popcorn while those that generally indulged in the buttery treat ate about the same popcorn whether it was fresh or stale.

“When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and make us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” says lead author David Neal. At the time the study was conducted Neal was a psychology professor at the college.

Co-author Wendy Wood, professor of Psychology and Business at USC, continued, “Once we’ve formed an eating habit, we no longer care whether the food tastes good. We’ll eat exactly the same amount (of popcorn), whether it’s fresh or stale.”

Neal said of the research, “The results show just how powerful our environment can be in triggering unhealthy behavior.”

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901135108.htm

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2017 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2017 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.