Whether you choose celery or chocolate could be a question of how quickly your brain takes healthfulness into account, according to a new study by a team of neuroeconomists at the California Institute of Technology.
“What we wanted to find out was at what point the taste of the foods starts to become integrated into the choice process, and at what point health is integrated,” says lead author Nicolette Sullivan, a graduate student at Caltech.
Spring boarding on the understanding that people know which foods taste good to them and which ones don’t, the researchers hypothesized that taste is the first attribute that people judge in a food when deciding whether or not to eat it, while healthfulness is a secondary consideration, and possibly a tertiary one for individuals with less than normal self-control.
The research team tested their hypothesis on 28 undergraduate subjects who hadn’t eaten for four hours prior to experimentation.
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