Tempted to Buy

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Story Updated: May 8, 2013

How many times have you raced into the grocery store...famished...and come home with a full cart of groceries you never intended to buy? New research confirms what most of us suspected all along...shopping when you're hungry isn't a great idea. But this study takes it a step further...and shows we tend to make really bad choices on an empty stomach.

The Cornell study was done in two parts. The first group of 68 participants was instructed to avoid eating for five hours- Then they were asked to go shopping in a simulated online store that was filled with a mix of high-calorie foods and lower-calorie alternatives. The second group of 82 went to a real grocery store. Some shopped after lunch when they were most likely to be full, others shopped before dinner when they were most likely to be hungry.

The results: Hungry participants who shopped at the online store purchased a higher number of high-calorie products like candy, salty snacks and red meat...versus low cal fruits, veggies and chicken breasts. Hungry participants who shopped at the real store also bought fewer low-calorie foods compared to those who walked the aisles when they were full.

Bottom line...researchers believe short-term food deprivation can lead us to load up on high calorie foods.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV your source for ideas to protect your health.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com