People tend to seek higher-calorie foods that will keep them satisfied longer when there is a perception of tough times, a new study has claimed. According to the study, bad news about the economy could cause you to pack on the pounds.

The study found that when subconsciously primed with such messages, a ‘live for today’ impulse is triggered causing people to consume nearly 40 per cent more food than when compared to a control group primed with neutral words. When the same group primed with “tough times” messages was told the food they were sampling was low-calorie, they consumed roughly 25 per cent less of the food.

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