Your brain on fast food

Your brain on fast foodIf you thought fast food only affected your body, think again. New research has found that just seeing fast food – not even necessarily eating it – can trigger impatience and make it more difficult for you to savor enjoyable experiences.

Researchers at the University of Toronto showed a group of people images of fast food either wrapped in its original packaging or simply sitting on a ceramic plate. They then showed some participants photographs of a gorgeous nature scene and asked them to rate their happiness. Next, the group listened to a beautiful piece of opera and noted how long it seemed to last.

The results? Those who were shown the images of fast food in their wrappers were less happy after seeing the images of natural beauty and felt like the opera lasted longer (a sign they were impatient for it to end).

In their somewhat depressing conclusion, the Toronto researchers said this about their findings: “As a ubiquitous symbol of an impatient culture, fast food not only impacts people’s physical health but may also shape their experience of happiness in unexpected ways.”

Interested in learning more? Check out this recent Men’s Health article, which highlights additional side-effects fast food can have on your brain.


Photo credit: Jeremy Brooks

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