Science Has Great News for People With Big Appetites


The news: Are you always looking for something to eat? Science says that may actually be to your advantage.

Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands found people with empty stomachs often made better decisions than their full-bellied counterparts.

The details: The study took two groups of 30 people and made each play the "Iowa gambling task," a card game designed to test decision-making abilities. Researchers asked one group to fast for approximately 10 hours before the test, while the others were treated to a bountiful breakfast.

Through all trials, researchers found that "participants with a larger appetite were more likely to make advantageous decisions." They also noted "hot states" like hunger "promoted, rather than compromised complex decisions with uncertain outcomes that are advantageous in the long run"

How is this possible? The study theorized that hunger benefits us because it makes people be less risk-averse and rely more on intuition.

However, it's important to note the study did say the benefits of hunger only apply under certain circumstances. For example, being hungry will often lead people to make poor food-related decisions like overeating or eating something with too many calories.

The takeaway: While it's often said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, maybe skipping the Pop Tarts a few mornings out of the week wouldn't be such a bad thing. 

At the very least, maybe you should fast for a few hours before you make any (non-food related) big decisions. It could help you make better choices.