People are more likely to reward themselves with an unhealthy treat after taking supplements, the study by academics in Taiwan found.
It showed the effects of self medicating with a dietary supplement are similar to exercise, giving the person a “license” to indulge.
Researchers say the phenomenon explains why the explosion in popularity of supplements has not been mirrored by improvements in public health.
Researchers gave placebo pills to 82 volunteers. Half were told they were placebos and the other half were told the pills were vitamins.
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