Monday, August 20, 2012

Fast Food Hurts Your Wallet

A friend, Glenn, pointed me to some interesting research from the University of Toronto that links fast food to heavily discounting the future and poor financial decisions. Here is the abstract:
“Based on recent advancements in the behavioral priming literature, three experiments investigated how incidental exposure to fast food can induce impatient behaviors and choices outside of the eating domain. We found that even an unconscious exposure to fast-food symbols can automatically increase participants’ reading speed when they are under no time pressure and that thinking about fast food increases preferences for time-saving products while there are potentially many other product dimensions to consider. More strikingly, we found that mere exposure to fast-food symbols reduced people’s willingness to save and led them to prefer immediate gain over greater future return, ultimately harming their economic interest. Thus, the way people eat has far-reaching (often unconscious) influences on behaviors and choices unrelated to eating.”
So, if you ever want to live the good life of being both healthy and wealthy, stay away from fast food.


  1. So that's why my stock broker always sends me McDonald's gift cards! ;-)

    I've actually heard of financial planners giving their clients lottery tickets for Christmas. Sends a bad message in my opinion.

  2. @Gene: Nothing says I love you like spending $2 for a 6/49 lottery ticket worth at most 90 cents.