Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Want to Lose Weight? Pay with Cash, Not Credit

From the introduction of a research article in the Journal of Consumer Research "How Credit Card Payments Increase Unhealthy Food Purchases: Visceral Regulation of Vice":

"The pain of paying in cash can curb impulsive urges to purchase such unhealthy food products. Credit card payments, in contrast, are relatively painless and weaken impulse control. Consequently, consumers are more likely to buy unhealthy food products when they pay by credit card than when they pay in cash. Results from four studies support these hypotheses. Analysis of actual shopping behavior of 1,000 households over a period of six months revealed that shopping baskets have a larger proportion of food items rated as impulsive and unhealthy when shoppers use credit or debit cards to pay for the purchases (Study 1)."


"The authors suggest that there may be a connection between rising obesity and changing modes of payment. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 34 percent of U.S. adults are obese. And nearly 40 percent of all purchases in 2006 were paid by credit and debit cards, and the average American carries 4.4 cards in his/her wallet. “The relationship between these trends suggests that self-control is not entirely volitional; it can be facilitated or impeded by seemingly unrelated contextual factors that influence people’s visceral feelings.”

2 Comments:

At 10/26/2010 8:38 AM, Blogger Donny Baseball said...

Don't give our mandarins any ideas, they might ban credit cards in the name of curbing obesity...

 
At 10/26/2010 8:17 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Government(s) spend less when they have to raise the money, too.

What else is new?

 

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