The ability to postpone gratification is associated with less-regular consumption of fast food, according to a study published online in Preventative Medicine. Researchers from the American Cancer Society analyzed responses from nearly 6,000 adults who completed a survey that included behavioral questions on their frequency of fast-food consumption.
Participants were also asked whether they would prefer to receive a certain amount of money immediately or wait 30 days and receive a larger sum. Those who were willing to wait for the larger amount were 26% less likely to consume fast food than those who weren’t.
To help prevent impulse trips to local fast-food joints, lead author Kerem Shuval, PhD, recommends preparing healthy lunches and snacks the night before and bringing them to work. Michal Stoklosa, a senior economist at the American Cancer Society and study co-author, suggests writing a pre-commitment contract to hold yourself accountable. He recommends setting a goal and then depositing a sum of money to a third party to help hold yourself accountable. If the goal is achieved, then the money is returned. The researchers caution that while the study findings are useful, a conclusion on causality merits further long-term research.
Resist the vending machine with these two make-ahead eats: