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Paying with cash leads to better food choices

Friday, December 10, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: food, cash, health news


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(NaturalNews) How you pay for your food affects the type of food you buy, according to new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research. Researchers say that paying with cash rather than credit or debit cards encourages healthier food choices. Psychologically, handing over actual money rather than plastic puts more value on the things consumers buy, and thus discourages "impulse" buying of junk foods.

"The notion that mode of payment can curb impulsive purchase of unhealthy food products is substantially important," noted authors Manoj Thomas, Kalpesh Kaushik Desai and Satheeshkumar Seenivasan. "The epidemic increase in obesity suggests that regulating impulsive purchases and consumption of unhealthy food products is a steep challenge for many consumers."

The team came to this conclusion after studying the grocery store shopping habits of 1,000 households over the course of six months. They observed that families that paid for their groceries with cash bought a lot less "vice products" like cookies, candy bars, cakes, and other sweets, than did families that paid with credit or debit cards.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34 percent of U.S. adults are now obese. And roughly 40 percent of all purchases made in 2006 were made with credit or debit cards. By encouraging people to pay with cash, experts believe that people will generally make healthier food choices because of the "pain" of paying with actual cash.

Besides the idea of paying in cash, though, the public must also realize that the cost of real food is going to be typically higher than the cost of the junk food that blankets most grocery store shelves. Healthy food obviously provides much more nutritional benefit than junk food, and is thus worth the extra cost for those who value a high quality of life over the long term.

Sources for this story include:

https://www.jcr-admin.org/pressreleases/101810122145...

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