Saturday, March 27, 2010

Exposure to fast food reinforces an emphasis on impatience and instant gratification

"Fast food is one of many technologies that allow us to save time,"said study researcher Sanford DeVoe. "But the ironic thing is that by constantly reminding us of time efficiency, these technologies can lead us to feel much more impatience."

The result, DeVoe said is that leisure activities meant to be relaxing can become spoiled by impatience.

SHOOT: It's just a really bad idea. It's bad for your weight and for your moods. I'm a sucker for fast food. The trick is to plan meals and to be aware of what each fast food meal means in terms of losing that weight, and also the consequences of feeling 'unsettled', for example while sitting in traffic or looking after children etc.
clipped from
A girl helps herself to a buffet at a fast food restaurant in Harlem in New York

Can't wait an extra 30 seconds for your computer to boot up or an e-mail to get a response? Fast food could be partly to blame, a new study suggests.

"Fast food represents a culture of time efficiency and instant
," said study researcher Chen-Bo Zhong of the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. "The problem is that the goal of saving time gets
activated upon exposure to fast food regardless of whether time is a
relevant factor in the context."

For example, Zhong said, "Walking faster is time
efficient when one is trying to make a meeting, but it's a sign of
impatience when one is going for a stroll in the park."

It's this general sense of haste, regardless of context, that the new research suggests fast food could promote.

A final experiment found
people exposed to fast food logos exhibited greater reluctance for
saving, choosing a smaller immediate payment rather than opting for a much
larger delayed payment.

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