Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Cheese Cake did not make me gain weight, my credit card did? Huh? Yes, it is true...find out why here

I know when I pay with a credit card, or even my debit card, I tend to eat at places where the final bill will be much higher than if I forgot my credit card at home.  EVEN if I have enough cash in pocket to eat at the more expensive place, I find myself "down-dining" when I am going to pay with cash. Why do I do this? I have to pay for the meal either way, so why do I spend more when it is charged to a card as opposed to paying cash?  Is this YOUR experience too? Please say yes, so I don't feel lonely...Read the article at the link or just the part I have below...I tend to believe in the "pain" theory of spending cash....

WSJ: Buying Junk Food With Plastic
When we pay in plastic, credit or debit, we’re more likely to buy unhealthy food, according to  research in the forthcoming Journal of Consumer Research by professors Manoj Thomas of Cornell University, Kalpesh Kaushik Desai of State University of New York, Binghamton and doctoral candidate Satheeshkumar Seenivasan of SUNY, Buffalo.

In recent years, the use of credit and debit cards has ballooned. So have American waistlines. The average American carries 4.4 cards in her wallet and a third of U.S. adults are obese these days, up from 23% in 1988.

But does the mode of payment make a difference when it comes to buying unhealthy food? According to these researchers, the answer is yes.

“If you like cheesecake, that craving activates neurons and takes over part of your thought processes,” Prof. Thomas says. “When you use cash, you’re trying to curb the momentum of the cheesecake.”

Purchases like cookies are impulsive in nature, whereas purchase for low-fat yogurt and oatmeal tend to be contemplative. For that reason, using cash will have less of an impact on buying more virtuous foods because they were contemplated purchases to begin with. “People feel a physical pain when they spend cash,” Prof. Thomas says. With plastic, however, people feel less pain when they spend.

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