Healthy vs. Junk Snacks
Friday, November 28, 2008

You intended to eat an apple but instead later found your hand moving toward the potato chips. You know what the right snack choice is but pick the unhealthy one anyway. Why? Dr. Edward Hill tells us about a study that took a closer look at the subject in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Although we usually know what the healthy choice is for food, we often don’t actually follow through and eat it.

Researchers in the Netherlands looked at the choices people make when it comes to eating a healthy snack versus going for the junk food.

The research team looked at the snack choices of 585 office workers in on-the-job cafeterias. Participants were given four snacks to choose from—two were healthy and two were not.

The participants were told to select which one they intended to eat at a later time and one week later they made their actual choice of snack.

Researchers found that nearly half of the participants intended to make a healthy choice, but 27 percent of this group later switched and chose an unhealthy snack. Ninety-two percent of the people who intended to eat an unhealthy snack stayed true and did.

The researchers concluded that while our intentions are ruled by our cognitive or thinking brain, when it comes to making actual choices, they are often made unconsciously and more impulsively.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.