Do people have some special affection for junk food?
A study proved that images of junk foods apparently, grab more attention than healthy foods. However, this affection reduces once a person tastes that same junk food several times.
The study was conducted to analyze what type(s) of food could attract people. Also, the researchers wanted to ensure if pictures of food with high fat content could break the concentration of people busy with some complex task.
The study was conducted by Howard Egeth, Professor at Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The study was performed on 18 students, mostly undergraduates.
During the study, participants were shown pictures of different types of foods and their distraction was further observed. When researchers showed them the pictures of healthy food, their distracted a bit. When shown the pictures of bicycles and thumb tacks, they again distracted a little. But, when the participants were shown the images of junk foods, they distracted nearly doubled when compared with their reactions to previous images.
The researchers re-performed the experiment with a modification and on a different set of participants. This time, each participant was given two candy bars. The experiment was repeated and it was noted that the response of participants for any kind of food image remain the same. No special food influenced their efficiency in a different way and their extent of distraction were uniform throughout the experiment; probably due to the effect of the candy bars.
With this study, the researchers concluded that the people have built-in bias for fatty and sugary foods.